Zhang Jun (center front), China's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during the Security Council emergency meeting on Ukraine at the UN headquarters in New York, Feb 21, 2022. (WANG YING / XINHUA)
UNITED NATIONS - Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, on Monday described the 20-year-war waged by foreign troops in Afghanistan as fiasco, stressing that the tragedy in Afghanistan should never be allowed to repeat.
The fiasco has once again proved that military intervention and power politics are not the right way, foreign models and democratic transformation cannot win the hearts and minds of the people, Zhang told a Security Council briefing on Afghanistan, adding that "the tragedy in Afghanistan should never be allowed to repeat."
The withdrawal of foreign troops is not the end of responsibility, but rather the beginning of reflection and correction. The countries concerned should have seriously reflected on their mistakes and corrected them in a timely manner, instead of walking away with a shrug of shoulders, he said.
The withdrawal of foreign troops is not the end of responsibility, but rather the beginning of reflection and correction. The countries concerned should have seriously reflected on their mistakes and corrected them in a timely manner, instead of walking away with a shrug of shoulders, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations
"Regrettably, rather than fulfilling their due responsibilities, relevant countries have cut off development aid, frozen Afghan assets, and imposed political isolation and blockade. This is not only just evading responsibility and abandoning the Afghan people, but also perpetuating the mistakes and exacerbating the sufferings of the Afghan people," he said.
With the withdrawal of foreign troops, the Afghan people have an opportunity to truly take control of their own destiny, the envoy said, noting that the past year has seen the Afghan interim government in action and significant improvement of the security situation.
China expects the Afghan interim government to pursue sound and inclusive domestic and foreign policies, actively safeguard and improve people's livelihood, resolutely combat terrorism, and live in harmony with all countries, including its neighbors, Zhang said.
The international community should enhance its engagement with the Afghan interim government in a rational and pragmatic manner, he said.
Citing the grave humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Zhang said that it is ethically hypothetical and practically lethal to claim to care about the rights of Afghan women and girls, while slashing humanitarian and development aid to the country and stubbornly maintaining unilateral sanction against the country.
He urged the United States to return the frozen assets to Afghanistan in full without delay and conditions.
Afghanistan's overseas assets belong to the Afghan people, and freezing these assets is tantamount to depriving them of their life-saving money, Zhang said.
"We urge the international community, especially the countries responsible for the war, to take concrete actions to continue helping the Afghan people, not to abandon them or punish them. Afghanistan needs the help of the international community, and the world also needs a peaceful and stable Afghanistan," he said.
As the largest neighbor of Afghanistan, China has always firmly supported its peace, stability and development, and has been making huge efforts in this regard, Zhang said.
"China has always delivered on its promise of assistance that benefits Afghan people and reflect equality and mutual respect," said the envoy.
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