No “vacuum” in Afghanistan must be stuffed: Chinese language FM

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) — There is no “vacuum” in Afghanistan that needs to be filled because that land belongs to the people of Afghanistan, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday.

China calls on the international community to give firm support for the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” reconciliation process, and play a constructive role from the sidelines to build a momentum for dialogue, Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the country’s annual legislative session.

“Pursuing peace requires more courage than stoking conflict,” Wang said, adding that Afghanistan is at a critical moment as there are both the potential dawn of peace and the buildup of risks and challenges.

“We appeal to all parties in Afghanistan to set store by the greater good of the country and the people, seize the major opportunity for political reconciliation, settle differences through dialogue, beat swords into ploughshares, and join hands to push open the door to peace,” he said.

This year marks the centenary of Afghanistan’s independence. Wang said “we ardently hope that this country, after suffering so much, will have a rebirth, take destiny into its own hands from now on, and enjoy genuine independence and lasting peace.”

Afghanistan should not again become an arena of great power rivalry, nor should it be subject to incessant conflict and mayhem, he said. “As Afghanistan’s neighbor and friend, China will respect its people’s wish and needs, continue to do its best for reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”