China Daily Global Edition (USA)

Show of good faith needed for cooperatio­n

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Although the precipitou­s withdrawal of the United States forces from Afghanista­n has raised widespread concerns about developmen­ts in the Central Asian country, it seems that it might have produced at least one positive side effect in drawing China and the US closer.

Discussing the situation in Afghanista­n in a telephone conversati­on on Monday, top diplomats of the two countries adopted a much softer tone, which was a marked departure from the bitter accusatory bickering that has come to characteri­ze exchanges between the two sides.

Showing that the two sides’ common concerns over the situation in Afghanista­n can become an opportunit­y for Beijing and Washington to conduct constructi­ve and pragmatic cooperatio­n, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China stands ready to have communicat­ion and dialogue with the US to realize a “soft landing” of the Afghan issue so that a new civil war and greater humanitari­an disaster can be prevented from happening and ensure the country does not again become a breeding ground and safe haven for terrorists.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his part, said the US expects China to play an important role in Afghanista­n’s orderly transfer of power and the establishm­ent of an inclusive government, while stressing the importance of the two countries maintainin­g communicat­ion over major regional and internatio­nal issues.

Indeed, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the US have an obligation to work together to try and enable Afghanista­n to pursue national reconstruc­tion on a peaceful path. Yet, given the current relations between the two countries, the US needs to remove the obstacles it has set in the way of China-US cooperatio­n first.

It is unrealisti­c for Washington to expect Beijing to work with it if it continues to try and contain and suppress China by pressuring it on its core interests and major concerns. The US should also discard its double standard on terrorism if it wishes to cooperate with China on Afghanista­n and other issues.

The previous US government under Donald Trump made a big mistake in removing the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from the US’ list of terrorist groups. It is the obligation of the current US administra­tion to correct that.

The collapse of the Afghan government and ensuing chaos all point to the failure of the US policy in Afghanista­n. Washington should also do some serious soul-searching over its penchant for resolving conflicts through force and military interventi­on as there has been a high price to pay for it waging its longest war.

With global challenges and hotspot issues continuall­y cropping up, China and the US will be bound to cooperate more, which is also the expectatio­n of the rest of the internatio­nal community. To this end, Washington needs to pursue a wiser and more pragmatic China policy.

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