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Afghanistan, China Pledge Long-Term Partnership

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and China's President Xi Jinping (R) wave to students during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing on October 28, 2014.

Afghanistan and China pledged a new long-term partnership with each other as the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani began an official visit to Beijing on October 28.

"We look at China as a strategic partner, " Ghani his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a meeting at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Xi said he was prepared to work towards "a new era of cooperation in China –Afghanistan relations" to "take development to a new depth and breadth."

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.

Ghani took office in September after a lengthy election dispute.

His first trip abroad was a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia on October 25.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP