US ‘misappropriation’ of Afghan assets inhumane: Chinese envoy

Beijing urges countries concerned to ‘immediately and unconditionally’ return those assets to war-torn country

Xinhua March 03, 2022
Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, addressing a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the situation in Afghanistan. PHOTO: XINHUA/FILE


The US “misappropriation” of frozen Afghan assets while the Asian country is facing an avalanche of hunger and poverty is inhumane, said a Chinese envoy on Wednesday.

Against the backdrop of such a grim humanitarian and economic situation, the US government decided last month to divert 7 billion US dollars in frozen Afghan assets for other purposes, which triggered widespread protests across Afghanistan, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

Noting that those assets belong to the Afghan people and the sovereign state of Afghanistan, Zhang stressed that the practice of arbitrarily handling other countries' overseas assets under US domestic law has no precedent. It is not only an infringement on Afghanistan's sovereignty and property, but also a serious contravention of international law, he said.

The envoy pointed out that those funds are the only few available assets owned by Afghanistan, playing a crucial part in the stability and development of the country. For the Afghan people, those assets are their life-saving money and their hope for survival. When Afghans need them the most, the ruthless deeds of freezing and misappropriation have inflicted "secondary damage" on them and that are completely against the due spirit of morality and justice.

Also read: China calls US splitting Afghan money ‘robbery’

What the United States has done is illegal, unreasonable and inhumane, he said, noting that China once again calls on related countries to immediately and unconditionally return those assets in full to the Afghan people, instead of making things worse. Moreover, the United States should stop applying double standards on humanitarian issues, Zhang added.

Afghanistan has going through a lot of trials and tribulations, and is now standing at a crucial stage of reconstruction. The country is working hard to improve its political structure, restore order in production and livelihood, and actively carry out foreign exchanges and cooperation. There is a good trend that more and more countries are engaging with the Afghan interim government in various forms, he said.

The international community should continue to adhere to the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" principle, step up engagement with the Taliban in an equitable, rational and pragmatic approach, and patiently guide the Taliban to respond to the expectations of the international community. Only in this way can Afghanistan gradually achieve lasting peace and stability and eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism. Afghan women and children can thus achieve better development, Zhang said.

As a friendly neighbour, China has always been committed to supporting the peaceful and stable development of Afghanistan. China will work closely with countries in the region, actively participate in various Afghan-related multilateral mechanisms, and promote coordinated actions by all parties to create synergy and help Afghanistan walk on a path of sound development, he said. 


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