Beijing: There is no “vacuum” in Afghanistan that needs to be filled because that land belongs to the people of Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday as he called on the international community to support the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” reconciliation process.

China calls on the international community to give firm support for the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” reconciliation process and play a constructive role from the sidelines to build a momentum for dialogue, Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the country’s annual legislative session.

“Pursuing peace requires more courage than stoking conflict,” Wang said, adding that Afghanistan was at a critical moment as there were both the potential dawn of peace and the buildup of risks and challenges, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We appeal to all parties in Afghanistan to set store by the greater good of the country and the people, seize the major opportunity for political reconciliation, settle differences through dialogue, beat swords into ploughshares, and join hands to push open the door to peace,” he said.

This year marks the centenary of Afghanistan’s independence.

“We ardently hope that this country, after suffering so much, will have a rebirth, take destiny into its own hands from now on and enjoy genuine independence and lasting peace,” the Minister said, adding that Afghanistan “should not again become an arena of great power rivalry, nor should it be subject to incessant conflict and mayhem”.

“As Afghanistan’s neighbour and friend, China will respect its people’s wish and needs, continue to do its best for reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”