As the Afghan reconciliation process has apparently entered in final phase, China on Monday spelled out its suggestions to deal the issue of Afghan refugees wandering in foreign lands.
“The situation in Afghanistan has entered a critical juncture. The United States and the Afghan Taliban are expected to reach a peace agreement soon, which will pave the way for the political parties in Afghanistan to start the intra-Afghan negotiation on the future domestic political arrangements. And the reconciliation negotiation will lead to the early peace in Afghanistan and start the reconstruction of Afghan,” Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Yao Jing told an international refugee summit in Islamabad. “Pakistan and Afghanistan have reached significant consensus on the settlement of Afghan refugee issue within the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). Chinese often seek addressing both symptoms and root causes when solving a problem. We always believe that foreign assistance can only solve the symptoms in settling the Afghan refugee issue. However, addressing the root causes means resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation, achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region,” he said, and share with the audience his suggestions.
“Firstly, cope with the Afghan refugee issue within the multilateral framework. The refugee issue is the common crisis of the mankind. In the context of reverse globalization emerging and populism prevailing, China calls on upholding the authority of multilateral mechanisms with the United Nations at the core, persisting in the main channels of UNHCR and other multilateral mechanisms in resolving the issue. We advocate fully implementing the Global Compact on Refugees on the basis of respecting the sovereignty of each country, jointly sharing the responsibilities in the huge task of settling the issue,” he said. “Secondly, development is the top priority. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the public good presented to the world by China. We believe that BRI could definitely play its role in international refugees governance. China is ready to enhance regional connectivity with Pakistan and Afghanistan, exploring the model to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) to Afghanistan. China sincerely welcomes the international partners to join this process. We are willing to initiate some social livelihood projects based on the China-Pakistan-Afghanistan trilateral cooperation mechanism, for example, Pakistan-Afghanistan border ports construction, education training, medical and health care. We hope these measures could contribute to the capacity building and self-reliance of the repatriating refugees, living in a more dignified manner,” he went on to say.
“Thirdly, maintain the order in the post troop-withdrawn period. We call on the relevant countries withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan in an orderly and responsible manner, ensuring a smooth and peaceful transition of Afghanistan situation. We expect that Afghan Government and Taliban could reach peaceful reconciliation. Only by promoting the peace process could all parties create the conducive conditions for safe and sustainable self-repatriation of the refugees,” he further said. “Fourthly, pursue the principles of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’. The developing countries currently receive 80% of refugees worldwide. The developed countries should effectively implement their aid commitments, increase humanitarian assistance to refugees, and help alleviate pressure on developing countries. Meanwhile, when dealing with refugee affairs, the international community should adhere to the principle of objectiveness and neutrality, oppose double standards, and maintain the credibility of the international refugee protection system,” he added. The ambassador said as a responsible leading power and an important neighbour of Afghanistan, China has been cooperating with UNHCR, Pakistan, Iran and other countries to provide assistance to Afghan refugees. “No country can stand alone to address the refugee issue. If you want to develop yourself, you should let others develop; if you want to be safe, you must let others feel safe; if you want to live a good life, you must let others live a good life as well,” he said. “This is precisely the original intention of President Xi Jinping’s initiative of ‘Building a Community of Shared Future’ for mankind,” he added.