Hamid Karzai, leader of the interim Afghan government, will discuss peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan during talks with Chinese leaders, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
"Both sides will discuss how to help Afghanistan to restore peace and rebuild the country," foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said of Karzai's two-day visit, beginning Wednesday.
"The whole of Central Asia are close neighbors to China and we are always paying attention to the situation there," he said.
Karzai, who is expected to meet with President Jiang Zemin in Beijing, will be returning from an international meeting in Tokyo where he won pledges worth US$4.5 billion for the reconstruction of his war-torn country.
Sun said the two leaders were also expected to discuss "international issues of common interest".
China would continue to oppose terrorism in all forms and cooperate with the international community to fight it, he said.
"Maintaining the long term stability and development in Central Asia not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the region itself and the surrounding countries, but is also conducive to world peace and stability," he added.
China earlier this month announced 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million) of aid to Afghanistan and this week in Tokyo announced another US$1 million of assistance.
"With the establishment of the interim government it is our hope to establish friendly relations... we have always adopted a positive attitude for the reconstruction of Afghanistan and will provide assistance within our capacity," Sun said.
(China Daily January 23, 2002)