China comes to Afghans' aid, while West hems and haws
China Daily

People in Afghanistan receive humanitarian aid from China on July 2, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)

At least 1,500 people died and more than 10,000 houses were destroyed in Afghanistan after it was hit by the worst earthquake in the country in more than 20 years on June 22. It was also the first major natural disaster since the Taliban assumed power there last summer.

While undertaking relief measures, the interim government and Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of Afghanistan's Taliban administration, have also appealed to international organizations to come to the aid of Afghanistan.

After the United States and NATO hastily withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban took over, many international aid groups also withdrew from there at the behest of the US, limiting the number of helicopters and other equipment necessary for carrying out disaster relief operations.

The US and other Western countries have also imposed sanctions on Afghanistan's banking sector, cutting off the flow of international aid funds. All these have left the war-ravaged country extremely short of funds to tackle relief work.

Despite Afghanistan's interim government calling on the US and its NATO allies to lift the sanctions on Afghanistan, the US and the West are still obsessed with their geostrategic game in Ukraine, thus turning a blind eye to Afghanistan's earthquake and its humanitarian crisis.

In contrast, the Afghan plight touched Chinese hearts and the Chinese government rushed 50 million yuan ($7.46 million) in emergency humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Several batches of relief materials have also been sent to the country. China also plans to provide additional emergency humanitarian assistance and strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan in disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster monitoring and early warning.

China's timely assistance has been widely acclaimed by the Afghan society and people.

China will continue to care about the post-disaster reconstruction in Afghanistan. China's foreign policy has always been to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the independent choice of its people.

Recently, the foreign ministries of China and Afghanistan held their second meeting of a liaison mechanism on humanitarian assistance and economic reconstruction and it is expected that the two sides will implement the consensus reached between the two countries, make solid progress in practical cooperation to improve people's livelihoods, the economy and trade, agriculture, mining, connectivity and capacity building, and boost disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction in Afghanistan.