Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, June 8, 2012. Hamid Karzai was in Beijing for an official visit to China and attended the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
>BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- China announced here Friday that it will provide a 150-million-yuan (23.8 million U.S. dollars) grant to the Afghan government during 2012.
The announcement was made in the Joint Declaration between China and Afghanistan on Establishing Strategic and Cooperative Partnership.
The document was issued after the formal talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday morning.
The two sides agreed that, on the basis of the Agreement Between the Government of the People`s Republic of China and the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in 2006, they will continue to explore new channels and methods to expand bilateral trade and investment and deepen economic cooperation, said the declaration.
It said the two sides agreed to continually strengthen the pragmatic cooperation in such fields as resources and energy development, infrastructure development, engineering and agriculture.
The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for the peaceful reconstruction process in Afghanistan.
It will as always provide assistance to Afghanistan within the realm of its capabilities, and continue to encourage capable Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction and development of Afghanistan, according to the declaration.
"The Afghan side appreciated China`s selfless assistance for Afghan peace and reconstruction over the years, and thanked the Chinese side for the new pledge of assistance," said the document.
Karzai is in Beijing for a visit to China. He also attended the Beijing Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held on Wednesday and Thursday.
At the summit, Afghanistan became an observer of the SCO.