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President Ashraf Ghani and President Xi Jinping pledged a new long-term partnership with each other as Ashraf Ghani visited Beijing on October 28th.

 As Ashraf Ghani was welcomed to China, Xi Jinping addressed him as “an old friend of the Chinese people.” Announcing that China will be ready to work with Afghanistan leading the two countries relationship “to a new depth and breadth.”

Xi said he was prepared to work towards “a new era of cooperation in China- Afghanistan relations.”

Ashraf Ghani: China is a “strategic partner, in the short term, medium term and very long term.”

China is a highest investor in Afghanistan, with an estimate of $1 trillion substance of mineral resources, and has secured major oil and copper mining deals there. The visit on Tuesday initiated  four new agreements with $330 million in grants to Afghanistan over the next three years, and additionally agreed to provide professional training for 3,000 Afghans.

Ghani told Xi Jinping and the Chinese officials in Beijing that Afghanistan considers China as a “strategic partner, in the short term, medium term and very long term.”

The relationship of the two countries will be of great benefit to Afghanistan since the NATO combat troops will depart the country by December leaving Afghanistan’s military to stand on their own feet and battle Taliban rebels.

The Final day of Ashraf Ghani’s visit to China, Friday, corresponds with this years meeting of the Istanbul Ministerial Process which is a regional meeting on Afghanistan. China will be hosting the meeting.

Other countries participating will be Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

Ashraf Ghani and participants will be discussing the Afghan political stability, and how the region will come together to support Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the troops in December.

Reference:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-29803768

http://www.voanews.com/content/afghanistan-ghani-visits-china-first-official-trip/2498852.html

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/uk-china-afghanistan-idUKKBN0IH1CU20141028

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