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China Hosts Regional Conference On Afghanistan

China is hosting an international conference on Afghanistan's security and reconstruction in Beijing.

New Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who has been on a visit to China since October 28, is headlining the forum known as the Istanbul Ministerial Process.

The annual conference brings Afghanistan and China together with more than a dozen member states and observers, including the United States.

China said on October 29 it would provide $330 million in grants to Afghanistan along with professional training and scholarships for 3,500 Afghans over the next five years.

China is a key investor in Afghanistan, which has an estimated $1 trillion worth of mineral resources, and has secured major oil and copper mining deals there.

Afghanistan and China share a 76-kilometer border between the remote, mountainous Wakhan Corridor and China's far western Xinjiang region.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP