Chinese Ambassador Liu Jinsong met with a team of Afghan Politicians from various political parties who had recently visited China at the embassy. Liu congratulated them on their productive trip, citing a Chinese proverb ‘it is better to see once than hear a hundred times’.
Only if Afghan friends have visited places in China, including inland provinces, border regions, and rural areas, can they get a true understanding of how China has transformed over the past 40 years and how absurd some Western media are when they report on China, Liu told them.
‘Only in this way can they see how China provides regional autonomy for ethnic minorities and freedom of religious belief, and why China is and will continue to be the largest developing nation in the world.’
He attributed what China has achieved over the past 70 years to the leadership of the ruling party and the hard work of the Chinese people, the reform and opening-up policies and ideological emancipation, as well as national unity and social stability.
Liu attributed the prosperity and harmony in Ningxia and Xinjiang, the two Muslim-concentrated autonomous regions that the Afghan team visited, to the government’s law-based administration of religious affairs and firm containment of terrorism, extremism, and separatism.
He further went on saying that how his homeland of Xinjiang promotes legal education, improves people’s welfare, and establishes legal vocational training centres, which are preventative counter-terrorism attempts that have sought foreign lessons and will benefit China and its neighbours.
Both China and Afghanistan experience terrorism and are at the forefront of efforts to counter terrorism and extremism; other countries are not qualified to judge the two countries’ internal affairs or counter-terrorism efforts, Liu said.
He encouraged vibrant multifaceted bilateral exchanges between the two countries’ political parties, parliaments, local authorities, think tanks, youth, women, etc. Liu believes Chinese and Afghani’s from all walks of life can forge a strong relationship via exchanges.
He also believes Afghan politicians would be more confident about the prospect of Afghanistan’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative after they have personally witnessed the rejuvenation of the ancient Silk Road in Ningxia and Xinjiang.
The Afghan politicians thanked the Chinese side for welcoming them during the visit, which impressed and benefited every member of the team. They visited mosques, Islamic institutes, markets, and enterprises in Xinjiang and Ningxia and experienced the local way of life.
Chinese people are hard-working, gritty, and perseverant, and various ethnic groups live in harmony and enjoy the freedom of religious belief. Afghanistan, also a multiethnic country, needs to learn from Chinese experiences, the Afghan politicians said.
Despite a difference in political opinions, various Afghan political parties are universally friendly towards China, which has earned their trust and respect as a nation that is not involved in profiteering or geopolitical games, the Afghan politicians remarked.
Citing Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) words ‘seeking knowledge, even far away in China’, the Afghan politicians hope to learn Chinese wisdom and plans, collaborate with China on the BRI, and expect China to play a bigger role in Afghan reconciliation and reconstruction.