The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on its website on Wednesday said that Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan agreed to strengthen anti-terrorism security cooperation and continue their alliance in fighting terrorism. The statement was made after a trilateral summit took place in China.
The summit was attended by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuan You, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai, and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tamina Janjua on Monday. The statement further said that during the trilateral summit, the participants “exchanged in-depth views on political mutual trust, the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan, [and] the progress and direction of trilateral pragmatic and security cooperation”. The participants also agreed that the summit was of great importance and that there was a need to strengthen communication to enhance mutual trust.
The recently signed Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) also came under discussion and was appreciated by both China and Pakistan. On the other hand, Afghanistan also expressed its willingness to implement the action plan that would help promote continuous improvement of friendly relations.
The Chinese foreign ministry statement further said that, “China and Pakistan appreciate the peace initiative proposed by Afghan President [Ashraf] Ghani and will jointly support Afghanistan in advancing the Afghan-led [and] Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.”
China has emerged as a strong advocate of Af-Pak peace process, as part of which it first hosted a trilateral meeting in December last year with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan. During that meeting, both Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to work together with China to tackle terrorism in the region. Earlier this month, China had proposed hosting a new round of three-way talks with Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve Af-Pak ties.
According to the Chinese ambassador, his country believed that the development in Western part of China could not be achieved under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), without the participation and cooperation of regional stakeholders like Afghanistan and Pakistan. This statement also suggests why improvement of bilateral ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan has remained a top priority for China.