China extends $32.5 million in aid to Afghanistan

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Beijing on Friday as Beijing pledged to extend 200 million yuan (US$32.5 million) in foreign aid grants to Afghanistan for economic development, Chinese media said.

The foreign aid commitment, unveiled in a joint statement issued after the talks, is apparently aimed at bolstering China's influence in Afghanistan following the departure of U.S. combat troops from the country.

According to Chinese press reports, Xi promised to help Afghanistan develop its natural resources and rebuild its war-ravaged economic infrastructure.

The Chinese leader reportedly also called for cooperation with Afghanistan to fight terrorism. Afghanistan shares a border with China's western province of Xinjiang, which faces an active Uyghur separatist movement.

Karzai told the Chinese leader that Afghanistan welcomes China's participation in developing Afghan natural resources.