A Chinese Envoy criticised remarks made by a U.S. Representative against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as “contrary to the facts and fraught with prejudice.”
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to agree on a regular renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), while agreeing to adopt “a technical roll-over” of the mandate on Friday, due to differences over the BRI, mention of which had been in previous Afghanistan resolutions.
“One member had persistently rejected a consensus of the Security Council that had been there for years and turned down constructive proposals put forward by other members. As a result, the atmosphere for consultations was poisoned,” said Wu Haitao, Charge d’affaires of China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Wu made the remarks after Jonathan Cohen, acting U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, accused China of “using Security Council resolutions as a platform for inappropriately promoting self-serving initiatives.”
In response, Wu said that the BRI has been widely welcomed by the International Community.
In the six years since the initiative was put forward, 123 countries and 29 international organisations have signed cooperation agreements to jointly develop the initiative. The participants have implemented cooperation projects, promoted connectivity and benefited from the development opportunities the initiative offers, he said.
The BRI is also conducive to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development, he added.
Within this framework, China and Afghanistan have continued to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, promoting socio-economic development in Afghanistan and helping with the country’s integration into regional development.
China and Afghanistan are implementing a memorandum of understanding on an initiative to promote cooperation in trade, transportation, energy, health, and telecommunications, among other fields, he said.
In developing the initiative, China and other countries have always followed market rules and international norms, and have emphasised sustainable development, Wu said, adding that the BRI has always been open, inclusive and transparent.
The initiative is aimed at achieving common development and prosperity and has nothing to do with geopolitics. All countries are welcome to participate in the initiative and the opportunities it offers, he said.
Wu said China supports UNAMA in continuing to implement its mandate to provide assistance to Afghanistan. China sincerely hopes that lasting peace and long-term development can be achieved in Afghanistan, which is not only in the vital interests of Afghanistan’s people but is also of critical importance to security, stability, development, and prosperity in the region.