Accessibility links

Karzai Says Afghanistan Wants to Copy American Democracy, China's Economic Success


Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his nation wants to copy China's economic success, while at the same time urging Beijing to have more concern for human beings as its wealth and power grows.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai came to China seeking to expand trade ties. He has met with President Hu Jintao and signed a number of trade and cooperation agreements.

Mr. Karzai has been a strong ally of the United States, and he suggests his reaching out to the Chinese does not diminish his partnership with Washington. Speaking to students at Peking University Tuesday, he said his country and its young democracy want to learn from both the United States and China.

"Afghanistan likes to take the example of strength of American society and use that example to add to its own prosperity and strength, by copying, by emulating that example," he said. "Afghanistan is also very, very keen on the success China has achieved in a short period of time."

He urged the students to have greater concern for others as they become leaders in their country.

Chinese state media say annual Sino-Afghan trade is about $500 million, mainly in Chinese exports to Afghanistan.

Among the agreements signed during the visit is a treaty on good neighborly relations. Both nations have also pledged to boost military cooperation along their border.

The visit comes as China boosts its presence in Central Asia, where it wants to forge an alliance with other nations - in a grouping known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Beijing's aim is to combat terrorist and separatist movements while at the same time securing new sources of oil for its booming economy.

Mr. Karzai was among a group of observers invited to attend a summit of the S.C.O. in Shanghai last week.

XS
SM
MD
LG