"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Remarks by Ambassador Locke at the Opening Ceremony of U.S.-China Joint Training Program for Afghan Diplomats

[Place] China Foreign Affairs University
[Date] May 17, 2012
[Source] Embassy of the United States (Beijing)
[Full text]

Vice President Zhu, thank you for your introduction. It is a privilege for me to join Ambassador Luo, Ambassador Baheen, and Vice President Qin in commemorating the launch of a first-ever U.S.-China joint cooperative project on Afghanistan.

It is fitting that we come together this morning at the China Foreign Affairs University – China’s incubator of diplomatic talent. Thousands of CFAU graduates have gone on to work in China’s foreign affairs institutions, and over 200 have reached the rank of Ambassador. This university knows how to train talented diplomats. Trust me, I know from experience working with my Chinese counterparts every day.

Which is why I am so pleased to see that 15 of Afghanistan’s rising diplomatic stars also will benefit from CFAU’s training, as well as from U.S. State Department-sponsored training in the United States later this year. I have read your biographies and am impressed by your backgrounds. I also am pleased to see that your delegation represents such a wide range of experiences within Afghanistan, with natives of Farah, Mazar-e-Sharif, Nangahar, Logar, and Kabul among you.

As diplomats, you will soon be given weighty responsibilities as you work to help replace war with peace and to guide Afghanistan toward a more hopeful future. As that responsibility comes to rest on your shoulders, I hope you will remember this day when the United States and China stood together to invest in your future.

As the United States and China consider how best to support Afghanistan, we recognize that we seek a similar goal: a stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan within a stable, secure, and prosperous region.

Your presence here today at this first-ever U.S.-China joint cooperative project on Afghanistan demonstrates that the United States and China view Afghanistan as an area where our interests converge and where we are capable of working together.

It is my fervent hope that your participation in this training program – and the lessons you will take away from it – will contribute to the building of habits of cooperation among our three countries that will grow as your careers advance. As Afghanistan continues to build toward its future, it should know that it will not be alone. The United States and China are invested in you, the Afghan people, and we remain hopeful in and supportive of the future you seek to build for your country.

The United States and China are working together, along with other partners from throughout the region and across the globe, to signal our long-term commitment to the Afghan people through 2014 and beyond. That is why President Obama and President Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement May 2, and that is why the United States actively supports Afghanistan’s efforts to build positive relations with its neighbors.

I am confident in your future success in these endeavors, and I am proud today to be associated with you, the first class of Afghan diplomats to participate in a U.S.-China joint training program.

Thank you.