China pledges security equipment, training to Afghanistan

Updated July 11, 2015

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Beijing is keen to see a stable Afghanistan, worried about what it says are separatist groups in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, which borders the Central Asian country. -Reuters/File
Beijing is keen to see a stable Afghanistan, worried about what it says are separatist groups in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, which borders the Central Asian country. -Reuters/File

BEIJING: China would provide Afghanistan with security equipment and training, President Xi Jinping told his Afghan counterpart on Friday, days after Chinese officials attended the first peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

Pakistan hosted the talks aimed at ending more than 13 years of war in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have been trying to re-establish their regime after it was toppled by US-led military intervention in 2001.

Beijing is keen to see a stable Afghanistan, worried about what it says are separatist groups in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, which borders the Central Asian country.

“Increasing security cooperation suits both countries’ interests. China will continue to supply Afghanistan with security supplies, technology, equipment and training assistance,” Mr Xi told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during a meeting in Ufa, Russia.

Mr Xi is in the Russian city for summits of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS emerging nations.

The statement did not give further details on Chinese assistance, but Beijing has long pledged security cooperation with Afghanistan and has been bracing for more responsibility there as US forces have scaled back.

China says it does not seek to replace departing Western troops in Afghanistan but has promised to play a “huge” commercial role in helping rebuild the country.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2015

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