The echoes of the attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Hospital in Kabul still resonate in the atmosphere as different countries and organizations condemn the attack as one of the most callous one. As per the latest news report 50 people were killed, including 38 Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and 12 civilians and 91 others were wounded that included 61 ANDSF members. The attack was claimed by Daesh that seems to be gaining strength in Afghanistan and the security experts believe that they are going to pose serious security threats to the country this year along with the Taliban militants.
Like many other countries and organizations, China’s Foreign Ministry also denounced the attack and said that Chinese government would continue to firmly support the unremitting efforts of the Afghan government and people to fight terrorism. Chinese Foregin Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement, “We are shocked by the terrorist attack and strongly condemn the act. We express deep condolences and sincere sympathy to the victims and their families. China will continue to firmly support the unremitting efforts of the Afghan government and people to fight terrorism and safeguard national stability and security."
There is no doubt in the fact that Chinese role will be pivotal for Afghanistan to fight terrorism. China, being the strongest of the countries in Asia, can lead Afghanistan to reconstruction, development and peace. It can play a role in pressuring the regional countries to play a positive role in supporting peace in Afghanistan and, at the same time, its role will be pivotal for bringing Taliban to negotiation table so that a lasting peace could be achieved in the times to come. Fortunately, China seems ready to take up this role.
China, on many occasions, has called for a regional cooperation to tackle the issue of terrorism. It through Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and through its bilateral relations with regional countries has always demanded heightened efforts to curb terrorism. As China is looking forward to establishing strong networks of trade and business with South Asian and Central Asian countries through ‘One Road – One Belt’ initiative, peace and tranquility in the region would be of immense importance for future. As Afghanistan plays an important role in this initiative therefore, it stand important for China to seriously consider the security situation in the country.
From Afghanistan’s point of view, it is of utmost importance that a country like China should support it in its war against terrorism. As most of the international troops have withdrawn and the remaining have taken the role as trainers, Afghan security forces and Afghan government would be faced with serious security challenges. The last year experienced the largest civilian casualties and there are fears that this year the fighting season would be threatening for Afghanistan, therefore, it is vital that Afghanistan seeks Chinese support through these tough times.
Chinese support is also imperative for Afghanistan in many other ways. China can also have an immense role to play in the economic stability of Afghanistan and promoting the business and financial self-sufficiency of the country. China is not the largest donor country to Afghanistan, but China’s aid is sincere and without any political conditions. In the 1950s and 1960s, although China was not better off at that time, it still built some aid projects such as Parwan Irrigation System and Kandahar Hospital for Afghanistan, which still function well in promoting the livelihood and welfare of local people. In recent years, China has been actively supporting the Afghan peaceful reconstruction. China had provided more than 1.6 billion yuan of grants, trained more than one thousand professionals in all fields through bilateral and multilateral channels, provided over 10 batches of goods and materials, built important projects such as Jumhoriate Hospital, Teaching Building of Chinese Language Department and Guest House of Kabul University, National Center of Science and Technology Education, and Multi-functional Center in the Presidential Palace for Afghanistan. All of these have played effective role in promoting the development and people’s livelihood of Afghanistan, and gained praises from all walks of life of Afghanistan. China has also committed to provide 2 billion Yuan of grants to Afghanistan till the end of 2017, and train 3000 professionals in various fields up to 2020. China has clearly shown the willingness that it will not leave Afghanistan’s hand at this crucial juncture, wherein it is in dire need of both political stability and economic support. At the same time, it is important to note that the announcement of around USD 3.5 billion by Metallurgic Corporation of China for the development of Aynak Copper mines is another important contribution that can have a lasting impact on the overall economy of Afghanistan.
Apart from economic and political support, China has always continued support for Afghanistan in different other sectors as well. Education and capacity building have been among the most important ones. China currently provides many scholarships to students in different fields of study.
In short China’s role is important for Afghanistan’s peace, reconstruction and other sectors. It is significant for Chinese people as they are expanding their business and looking forward to integrating the whole region. A more secure region will be crucial for further development of trade and wellbeing.