LI QINGGONG Some US media have recently been in an uproar over China's reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, accusing the country of concealing its ulterior motives in its violence-ravaged neighbour. On October 14, the NBC used such demagogic words as "resource-hungry China heads to Afghanistan" as the headline of a story. Earlier on October 6, the New York Times carried an article, complaining that "while America is sacrificing its blood and treasure, the Chinese will reap the benefits." In the op-ed, titled Beijing's Afghan Gamble, the author Robert Kaplan noted: "China will find a way to benefit no matter what the US does in Afghanistan. But it probably benefits more if we stay and add troops to the fight." These inflammatory comments aimed at defaming China's assistance to Afghanistan to boost its slowly progressing reconstruction are misleading US public opinion and adding a new precarious element to Sino-US relations. China's efforts to help a war-torn Afghanistan should not be distorted, but it seems it is time for the country to seriously weigh possibilities for cooperation with the US in extricating Afghanistan from omnipresent violence and helping Afghans retrieve long-lost peace and rebuild destroyed homeland. As a proximate neighbour to Afghanistan, China will not feel eased at the lingering chaos the country has been in and the miserable conditions its people have suffered. To help Afghanistan rebuild its seriously destroyed infrastructure, China has taken a series of initiatives, from reconstruction of hospitals, schools, railways and roads to renovation of power facilities. The country was also invited by China as the host to attend the eighth prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members held in Beijing two weeks ago. At the meeting, Premier Wen Jiabao met with Afghan Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili and promised to continue offering assistance to its neighbour in post-war reconstruction. "China will continue to encourage its capable and reputable domestic enterprises to invest in Afghanistan to intensify bilateral pragmatic cooperation in economic, trade and agricultural fields," Wen said. He also told the Afghan guest that China would continue to call on the international community to pay more attention to Afghan peoples' livelihood and help the country push forward its desperately needed economic and social development. The country's moves, which show its unswerving fulfilment of its long-promised international obligations for "peace and development" and have been warmly welcomed by Afghans, however, have invited ill-conceived criticism from some US media. This testifies to the US media's apathy toward the war in Afghanistan and the frequent incidence of violence within its territory. An eight-year-long war in Afghanistan is still far from realising the US-promised targets for Kabul. It has also caused more losses than benefits to Afghan people. The US-led war may probably prove to be a never-to-be-won war. The erstwhile Soviet Union once had a 10-year-long war in the Islamic nation and finally ended up with withdrawal of its troops. Since the end of World War II, the US has launched a total of four wars in Asia, from the Korean Peninsula and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. The failure the US suffered in the other three battlefields indicates that withdrawal of its troops is possibly the best choice for the US to get out of the Afghanistan's quagmire. However, both the former US administration of Bush and incumbent Barack Obama's think the other way. It is China's consistent stance that the Afghanistan issue should be resolved in a peaceful manner and it only pursues cooperation with other countries under this precondition. As a neighbour of Afghanistan, China is willing to cooperate with the US, the initiator of the war, on the premise that the US withdraws its troops from the country and return its people peace. Also, China and the US could play a more active role and push for convening an international conference on Afghanistan to help the parties' concerned sign a peace accord and include the country's security and stability in the framework of the UN Security Council. - China Daily