China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, met with high-level Taliban officials. This China-Taliban meet warms ties as the US withdrawals from Afghanistan.
China’s ministry posted a photo on their website showing Wang Yi posing with senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his delegation of high-level officials in Tianjin. The apparent show of friendliness could be recognized as a diplomatic mission, humoring to the Taliban’s crave for legitimacy.
The foreign minister said, “China respects Afghan sovereign independence and territorial integrity and always adheres to non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.”
He also adds that the hasty withdrawal of NATO and the US “reveals the failure of America’s policies and offers the Afghan people an important opportunity to stabilize and develop their own country.”
China is interested in developing peace talks with the Taliban. Or at least lowering their level of violence as they continue to take territory from the Afghan government.
China has long been concerned about a possible spillover of Islamic violence into its Xinjiang region. China, in the past, signed deals for oil, gas, and copper mining in Afghanistan. However, those deals have been inactive for a while.
“The Taliban are a pivotal military and political force in Afghanistan and are expected to play an important role in the process of peace, reconciliation, and reconstruction,” said Wang Yi.
According to Wang, China hopes the Taliban will first put the country’s and people’s interests. Focusing on peace talks, setting peace goals, establishing a “positive image,” and working towards unity among all factions and ethnic groups.
By August 31, the US will withdrawal from Afghanistan. This event could be beneficial to the Chinese government. They longed resented US presence in Afghanistan they consider to be their backyard.
If the Taliban successfully defeats the US-backed Afghan government, China could gain a strategic passage. This would allow them and long-time ally Pakistan to bring further pressure against rival India.
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