Chinese Modernization: New Opportunity for China-Afghanistan Relations, New Blueprint for Social Development
Ambassador Wang Yu
9 April 2023
The history of human development is full of twists and turns. Similarly, the journey of each country to explore the path to modernization is also arduous. In today’s world, multiple challenges and crises are intertwined. The global economic recovery remains sluggish, the development gap is widening, ecological environment is deteriorating, and the Cold War mentality is lingering. Humanity’s modernization process has once again reached a crossroads of history. At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese President Xi Jinping systematically elaborated the essential features and scientific connotations of Chinese Modernization, breaking the myth that “Modernization is Westernization” and providing a Chinese solution for mankind’s search for a better path to modernization, as well as expanding the path options for developing countries, including Afghanistan, to achieve modernization.
Chinese Modernization is the modernization of a huge population and common prosperity for all. With 56 ethnic groups and 1.4 billion people in China, the size of China’s population exceed the sum of the existing developed population, and the enormity and complexity of achieving modernization is unprecedented. Only by thinking, making decisions and doing things from the national situation can we lead all Chinese people into a modern society. Today, more than 40 million Afghan people have finally become the masters of their own homeland, and the prospects for modernization are vast and unlimited. China will assist the modernization of the Afghan side based on long-term development, and is willing to continue to provide more humanitarian assistance and economic reconstruction cooperation through bilateral and multilateral channels to bring more help to the well-being of the Afghan people. China also supports the Afghan side to focus on the people’s aspirations for a better life and further progress of civilization, so that modernization will better address the concerns and meet diversified needs of the people.
Chinese Modernization is the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement. To achieve the goal of modernization, we must continue to enrich not only the material wealth, but also the spiritual content. “A single flower does not make spring, while all flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden.” President Xi Jinping emphasized that tolerance, coexistence, exchanges, and mutual learning among different civilizations play an irreplaceable role in advancing humanity’s modernization process and making the garden of world civilizations flourish. China not only supports Afghanistan’s economic development and infrastructure construction, but is also willing to strengthen humanistic exchanges and friendship with Afghanistan. In bilateral cultural exchanges, China has always respected Afghanistan’s religious beliefs and ethnic customs, and opposes the imposition of values by foreign powers on the Afghan people. China opposes anyone interfering with Afghanistan’s sovereignty by manipulating the so-called “democracy” and “human rights” issues, and will continue to stand up for Afghanistan in international forums.
Chinese Modernization is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature. China insists on the concept of “clear waters and green hills are as valuable as hills of gold and silver”. We will protect nature and the environment as we do our own eyes, and will continue to pursue a model of sound development featuring improved production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems. As the “Heart of Asia”, Afghanistan has diverse natural landscapes and rich natural resources. Only by protecting the green hills can the Afghan people have a good production and living environment, which will promote the sustainable development of humanity by not only increasing the well-being of this generation but also protecting the rights and interest of future generations. With the deepening of bilateral relations between China and Afghanistan, more and more Chinese enterprises have come to invest and set up businesses in Afghanistan. They are committed to taking the path of balanced development of economic interests with environmental protection and community progress, actively protecting Afghanistan’s ecological environment, fulfilling social responsibilities and promoting the improvement of people’s livelihood.
Chinese Modernization is the modernization of peaceful development. China has always committed to uphold world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future. China has stood firm in protecting international fairness and justice, advocated and practiced true multilateralism. China has taken a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in all their forms, and we have never wavered in our opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying of any kind. China will neither tread the old path of colonization and plunder, nor the crooked path taken by some countries to seek hegemony once they grow strong. What China pursues is the right course of peaceful development. No matter what level of development China achieves, it will never seek hegemony or expansion. Now under the banner of Chinese Modernization, China and Afghanistan have continued to deepen political mutual trust, economic cooperation and people-to-people exchange. China has always respected the independent choice of the Afghan people for their development path, supported the Afghan side in putting the development of the country and the nation at the base of its own strength, and put the fate of the country’s development and progress firmly in its own hands.
Not long ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a keynote address at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, pointing out that modernization is not “an exclusive patent” of a small handful of countries, nor is it a single-answer question. It cannot be realized by a cookie-cutter approach or simple “copy and paste”. Chinese Modernization is rooted in our national conditions and also draws on the experience of other countries. It carries the imprint of history and traditional culture and also contains modern elements. It delivers benefit to the Chinese people and also advances common development of the world. It is a sure path for us to build a stronger nation and realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is also a path we must take to seek progress for humanity and harmony for the entire world. China has always believed that the Afghan people have the most say in what kind of modernization suits them best, and the Afghan side have the right and ability to explore their own unique path of modernization based on their own national conditions.
China sincerely hopes that the Afghan side can find a modernization path based on its national conditions and characteristics, and truly realize the beautiful vision of the country’s long-lasting peace and security as well as people’s happiness and prosperity. China will always link its destiny closely with the destiny of all peoples, including Afghanistan, and strive to provide new opportunities for the world’s development with new achievements in Chinese Modernization, provide new assistance to the exploration of modernization by mankind, and make new contributions to the innovation of modernization theory and practice in human society.