India, China join hands to train Afghan diplomats

• India and China came together Monday to provide assistance to Afghanistan through a joint training programme for Afghan diplomats.

• The Joint India-China Training Programme for Afghan diplomats, from October 15-26, began Monday as part of an understanding reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan.

Key highlights of this programme

• Ten Afghan diplomats started training at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) here after an event where statements by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were read out by the diplomats of the two countries.

• China’s Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, in his remarks at the inauguration of the programme, said such a ‘China-India Plus’ cooperation should be extended from Afghanistan to other countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Iran and Myanmar.

• Describing India as a “regional major power”, he said China and India can also join hands under the mechanisms of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Bangladesh,China,India Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM), to promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

• India is committed to partner Afghanistan in its efforts to emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation, she said.

• Talking about India’s New Development Partnership with Afghanistan, she said it aspires to bring prosperity to all 34 provinces of Afghanistan through high impact community development projects.

• Guided by the vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, the Indian government has embarked on an ambitious development partnership programme with commitment of over USD 3 billion.

Four broad pillars of the programme

• To building infrastructure,

• To developing human resource,

• To enhancing connectivity, and

• To promoting trade and investment links.

Way forward

• Chinese ambassador, said the launch of the programme marks an important step forward as it reflects the closer coordination and cooperation between two countries on regional affairs and represents a positive development in Sino-India relations.

• China and India have been active supporters of Afghanistan’s peace, and reconstruction process.

• This Joint Capacity Building Programme is an essential part of the international efforts to assist Afghanistan and marks the start of China-India-Afghanistan cooperation.
• Wang said, “It is a testament to the joint aspiration and endeavour of China and India, both being major, responsible developing countries, to contribute to regional peace and stability.”

• The Chinese envoy, in his remarks, also said that President Xi and Prime Minister Modi will meet on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina next month.

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: India-China convergence of opinions over Afghanistan.

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