“…Seeking to strike common ground with China on key matters related to South Asia, the US has said it wants Beijing [ Images ] to “coordinate more” with its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al-Qaeda [ Images ].
US Assistant Secretary for South Asia Robert Blake, who held talks with his Chinese counterparts on a host of issues concerning South Asia, said Washington wants Beijing to “coordinate more” with its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
…The talks were part of preparatory meetings ahead of the Sino-US strategic dialogue beginning on May 23 to be attended among others by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The issues discussed during Blake’s talks with China apparently included those relating to India [ Images ] as well as Chinese plans to build two nuclear reactors for Pakistan. “The purpose of the dialogue is to have a wide-ranging dialogue on all of the issues in South Asia – not just Afghanistan or Pakistan, but also India, the situation in Nepal, and the situation in Sri Lanka [ Images ],” official media quoted Blake as saying.
The two sides also discussed US President Barack Obama’s s plan to begin the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan beginning in July 2011, he said. “We assured China that we are certainly not going to withdraw our forces precipitously,” Blake said, adding that the timing of withdrawal would depend on the security situation on the ground and the ability of internationally trained Afghan security forces to handle that situation.
…China Metallurgical Group Corp and China’s top integrated copper producer, Jiangxi Copper Corporation, in July started a project in Logar, a province southeast of Kabul, to explore the vast Aynak copper mines. The USD 4 billion investment is the biggest in Afghanistan’s history. China has also helped Afghanistan train dozens of minesweepers over the past year. In late March when Afghan President Hamid Karzai [ Images ] paid a state visit to China, Beijing signed three deals with Kabul which cover economic cooperation, technical training and the granting of preferential tariffs for Afghan exports. Despite these efforts, Hu said China can do more in reconstruction. “China should actively contribute to helping Afghanistan with people’s livelihood, economic growth and social stability,” Hu said, noting it is in China’s interests to do so. "
2010-05-06 01:04:26 UTC