Afghan people are eagerly waiting for the Belt and Road Initiative to be implemented in the country as a good opportunity for them to become self-reliant, a local journalist told China.org.cn in Beijing on Wednesday.
Sakhi Danish, an editor working for Daily Outlook Afghanistan, presents his idea for the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing on April 26. [Photo/China.org.cn]
"Afghan people are tired of wars," said Sakhi Danish, an editor working for Daily Outlook Afghanistan, who is in China on a training course. "For Afghanistan, regional economic cooperation, like the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, is perhaps the only way to achieve economic development and move toward self-sufficiency."
Given Afghanistan's strategic geo-economic location, as well as vast untapped natural resources, the initiative could be a project of win-win cooperation to drive regional growth, investment, movement of energy, transfer of technology as well as regional peace and stability, he added.
Proposed by China's President Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative, consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, offers great synergy in efforts to boost policy coordination, facility connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonding along the ancient trade routes.
The two neighboring countries have been cooperating under the initiative in a number of projects. Last September, the first cargo train from China arrived in a key northern Afghan city, two months after direct flights between the Afghan capital of Kabul and Urumqi in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region resumed.
The Afghan government places great hope on the initiative and hopes to align domestic projects with ones related to the Belt and Road to revive the ancient Silk Road and, most importantly, bring peace and prosperity to the war-torn country, Danish said.
China is involved in multilateral and regional efforts to tackle Afghan problems, ranging from security and enhancing institutional capacities to improve border control, fight criminal networks, and in counterterrorism.
"It is also working to create an Afghan peace and reconciliation process and has been holding talks in Islamabad since early 2016, along with Afghanistan, the US and Pakistan, which is known as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group," he told China.org.cn.
The Afghan people very much appreciate China's efforts for regional peace and stability and widely welcome the Belt and Road Initiative for the hope it offers the country, he said.
Looking ahead to the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, due to be held in Beijing May 14-15, the editor said that, as the initiative was quickly gathering momentum, hopefully the forum could deliver more practical results for countries willing to participate.