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Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Deng Xijun by Daily Outlook Afghanistan


Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Deng Xijun by Daily Outlook Afghanistan

Q1: Communist Party of China convened the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee from November 9th until 12th, 2013 in Beijing. It was considered as a critical conference to determine the future development of China in the next 5 to 10 years. Your Excellency Ambassador, could you please kindly brief us on the main content of the above-mentioned conference?

A: Since Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded in July 1921, a new session of its central committee would be elected every 5 years. From 9th until 12th November 2013, CPC held the 3rd plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in Beijing. Since the policy of China’s reform and opening up was carried out in 1978, the critical basis to estimate the administrative orientation and priority of both CPC and Chinese Government lay in what topics discussed, what decisions made and which measures taken during every 3rd plenary session of CPC central committee. Every decision made by the 3rd plenary session unexceptionally played a fairly important role in China’s development in the following 5 to 10 years.

This year, the 3rd plenary session of 18th CPC central committee made significant deployment on comprehensively deepening reform which highlighted the new direction of Chinese development. Consisting of 15 areas, 55 vital important reformation tasks and over 300 following measures, The Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms (Hereinafter refers to The Decision)was adopted at the closure of this session, and made it clear that in the next 5 to 10 years China will uphold and improve the basic economic system, speed up the improvement of modern market system, accelerate the transformation of government functions, leave the market to play the decisive role in allocation of resources and give better play to the government function, deepen the reform of fiscal and tax system, improve institutions and mechanisms for promoting integrated urban and rural development, build a new open economic system, improve the construction of socialist democratic political system, build China under the rule of law, strengthen the restriction and supervision system of power operation, promote innovation in cultural institutions and mechanisms, accelerate reform and innovation in social sectors, innovate the social management system, speed up the building of ecological civilization system and deepen the reform of army and national defense. These reforms cover economic, political, cultural, social, ecological, national defense and ruling party’s construction, which are very comprehensive. Moreover, with a view of ensuring the full success of comprehensively deepening reforms, the central committee of CPC will establish a leadership team for comprehensively deepening reform and set up a timetable for obtaining decisive results in all key areas by 2020.

The Decision is a programmatic document of CPC for comprehensively deepening reform at the new historical starting point. We believe that it will help us to further emancipate the mind, liberate and promote the productive forces, liberate and enhance social vigor, create more social wealth, and make all people benefit more from the developmental achievements fairly, so that a new historic change will take place in China and the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics will embrace much brighter prospect.

Since the adoption of reform and opening up policy over the past 35 years, China’s role in driving global economy has been getting much bigger with the scale of Chinese economy expanding. Currently, China starts a new round of reform and highly integrates with the whole world at an unprecedented degree. As reform deepens, the competitive environment of market in China will be much more equitable, open and transparent, and the Chinese economy will have more vigor. Every realm of cooperation and communication between China and world will also become more smooth and effective. China will continue to expand its opening up, especially to strengthen mutual-benefit cooperation with the countries including Afghanistan in the west direction. The achievements of comprehensively deepening reforms in China will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also bring more opportunities and inject much vigor into the development and prosperity of region and the world as a whole.

Q2: At the end of last October, the ever-first conference on diplomatic work with neighboring countries of China since 1949 was held in Beijing. During this conference, the Chinese leadership made a new orientation and planning for its diplomatic polices towards neighboring countries. As the biggest neighboring country of Afghanistan, how will China adjust diplomatic policy towards Afghanistan accordingly?

A: During the process of reform and development, we feel it more and more important and valuable to have peaceful and stable surroundings. We have a saying in China, a distant relative is not as helpful as a close neighbor. The top priority status of diplomacy towards neighboring countries becomes far prominent in China’s diplomatic agenda. As you just mentioned, China held the first conference on its neighborhood diplomatic work recently, and from strategic point of view made overall planning for the diplomatic policies towards neighboring countries by considering the new situation. Chinese president Xi Jinping made important remarks on this conference and underlined China's commitments to forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors and fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. He also highlighted the conception of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness that guides China's efforts to build a neighborhood of greater peace, stability, development and prosperity and China's desire to bring more benefits to its neighbors and contribute to common development through its own development by sticking to the road of peaceful development. These remarks can be traced to the China’s former diplomatic policies on putting forward the amicable and friendly relations with neighboring countries, accord with the mutual interests and common inspirations of the peoples of China and regional countries, and will upgrade and deepen the relationship between China and neighboring countries continuously. The new Chinese leadership this year has proposed a series of the strategic conceptions such as the Silk Road Economic Belt, Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which provide new important opportunities for China to further widen its mutual-benefit cooperation with the neighboring countries including Afghanistan. China is now practicing its own diplomatic strategy and policies with concrete actions.

Afghanistan is of an important neighboring country of China. Both countries are not only linked by common mountains, but the two also fate community with interlinked interests. China consistently and actively participates in the Afghan peace and reconstruction process. Over the years, China helped build projects of water conservancy, hospitals, schools, roads and office buildings, promoted bilateral exchanges between parliaments, political parties, local authorities, business community and media, and offered scholarship to hundreds of Afghan students. So far the Chinese Government has given assistance of over 200 million USD to the Afghan side. During President Karzai's fifth state visit to China in this September, the leaders of both sides reached a range of important consensus and signed a series of cooperation agreements. The China-Afghanistan relationship has now stood at the new historical starting point. In accordance with the spirit and principles set up by the above-mentioned conference, China will continue to support Afghan Government to safeguard its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect the development path chosen by the Afghan people in line with their own national conditions, support Afghanistan for achieving smooth transition and realizing the goal of “Afghanistan governed by the Afghan”, as well as for improving and developing relations with other countries in the region. China hopes the 2014 presidential election in Afghanistan will be held smoothly and the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" reconciliation process will make substantive progress at an early date. China will continue to provide assistance within its own capacity through bilateral and multilateral channel, encourage capable Chinese companies to invest and do business in Afghanistan, as well as deepen the bilateral communication and practical cooperation in all fields, such as economy, investment, energy, telecommunication, agriculture, infrastructure, law enforcement, and people-to-people exchange, with a view of helping Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and development through concrete actions, and facilitating the realization of strategic goals and peoples’ wellbeing of the two countries by expanding and deepening the China-Afghanistan strategic and cooperative partnership.

Q3: In the year of 2014, China will host the fourth ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan. So what's the consideration and purpose of China to host this conference? And what sort of expectations does China have towards this conference?

A: As locating in the heart of Asian continent, Afghanistan is widely regarded as an important country in this region. With the upcoming of post-2014 period, the evolving situation in Afghanistan is closely interlinked and interacted with regional peace and stability. The realization of Afghan peace and development needs active participation and effective cooperation of international community, especially from regional countries. In this context, the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was established. By the two-year development, it has emerged as an effective multilateral mechanism of cooperation, through which regional countries can make joint efforts to resolve Afghan issues and push forward the Afghan peace and reconstruction process.

China supports the Afghan side to enhance good neighborly and friendly relationship with regional countries, always actively involves in the Afghan-related international and regional cooperation and does its utmost to play a unique and constructive role in it. Next year, Afghanistan will hold the elections of president and provincial councils, and take over the full security responsibility. Also next year, as the founding member and main participant, China will host the fourth ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process, which fully indicates the Chinese support for Afghan smooth transition, reconstruction and development and its sincere engagement with Afghan-related regional cooperation. Adhering to the spirit of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation as well as the principles of “region-led, region-owned” and consensus rules, China intends to, through hosting the 2014 ministerial conference, deepen regional dialogue and cooperation, gather and expand common views and mutual trust on the issues concerning Afghan and regional security and development, actively cope with common challenges, i.e. terrorism, drugs and natural disasters, promote six confidence- building measures cooperation to achieve practical results at an early date, and facilitate the existing regional cooperation organizations and mechanisms to play in full swing, so as to encourage regional states and supporting countries to make more contributions to the Afghan and regional peace, stability and development.

During the process of preparation, as one of the co-chairmen, the Chinese side would like to closely coordinate and cooperate with the Afghan side, so as to ensure full success of the 2014 ministerial conference of Istanbul Process.

Interview with Chinese Ambassador Deng Xijun on December 16, 2013

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