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Nation won't send soldiers to Afghanistan: Official

[ 2009-03-25 13:45]     字号 [] [] []  
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China will not send peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan but will dispatch two senior diplomats to international meetings to ease tensions in the country later this month, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

"We have clarified our stance on sending troops to Afghanistan," ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news briefing yesterday.

"Except for peacekeeping operations with UN Security Council mandates, China will not send a single soldier abroad."

He also announced that Vice-Foreign Minister Song Tao will attend an international meeting on the Afghanistan issue in Moscow on Friday under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) framework. Song's colleague Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will attend another meeting on the issue in the Hague, the Netherlands, on March 31.

"This is the first time for the SCO to hold an international meeting on the Afghanistan issue. China attaches great importance to that," Qin said of the Moscow meeting.

The meeting will focus on fighting terrorism, drug smuggling and organized crime, he said.

The remarks were made after North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members repeatedly invited Beijing to join military operations in Afghanistan. The requests include sending troops and opening an alternate logistics route into Afghanistan through western China to replace the main passageways traversing Pakistan.

Renmin University of China international relations professor Pang Zhongying said the Moscow meeting is critically important to the next moves by the US and NATO, which have been "trapped in the Afghanistan quagmire". Afghanistan is an observer country of the SCO.

The foreign minister of Russia, which holds the SCO's rotating presidency, did not limit the meeting to SCO member and observer states but also invited G8 countries and some international organizations' leaders.

US President Barack Obama had realized his decision to send another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan was mistaken and said on Sunday he would instead seek a new strategy, Pang said.

"Without help from the SCO, which has close geographical and political relations with Afghanistan, it's hard for NATO to reach this new aim," he said.

Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan are at a peak from 2001, when the US ousted the Taliban government.

Founded in 2001, the SCO includes six members - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


1. Which 6 countries make up the SCO?

2. When and where will they meet next?

3. What was the US hoping from China


1. China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2. Moscow - Friday.

3. To use Western China as an entrance point for troops into Afghanistan

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Nation won't send soldiers to Afghanistan: Official

Nation won't send soldiers to Afghanistan: OfficialBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.