China will help build infrastructure in Afghanistan, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Beijing. President Ghani is visiting China for a full four days beginning Oct. 28, the first foreign destination for the new Afghan President. Li said that China is vigorously opening up westward, and supports Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction process; it is willing to take part in building Afghanistan's infrastructure, including railway, road, water conservation, and electricity, Xinhua reported
President Ghani responded that Afghanistan will actively participate in the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt. It will expand reciprocal cooperation with China and support South Asian nations in strengthening cooperation with China.
Ghani welcomed more Chinese companies to join in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction, and said Kabul will assure their security.
Today, the two leaders will address the Fourth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, which will involve foreign ministers or representatives from 14 member countries, and representatives of 16 other countries and 12 supporting international and regional organizations. Ghani thanked China for hosting the meeting.
In an interview with CCTV Oct. 28, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Deng Xijun said that Ghani's visit shows the importance the country has attached to promoting bilateral relations.
"In the past 13 years, the Chinese government has rendered enormous help to Afghanistan, to facilitate its peace and reconstruction process. That assistance has focused on projects promoting people's livelihoods, like education, medical services, and water resource exploration. The Afghan people can benefit directly from those projects. Therefore, they have expressed an extensive appreciation of China's efforts," Deng said. He added that China has greatly increased investments in Afghanistan in recent years. The Istanbul Process foreign ministers' meeting is the first of its kind held by the Chinese government.
"In my opinion, it shows the importance the Chinese government has attached to Afghanistan issues, as well as the new President, and new government,," Deng said. "It also shows China is paying attention to Afghanistan-related cooperation, both regional and international. We hope, via the foreign ministers' meeting in Beijing, parties involved will cement their common interests, and promote mutual trust as well."