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China vital for development in Afghanistan, says Taliban spokesperson

The Taliban have welcomed Chinese reconstruction and development deals to Afghanistan. The void left by the US is soon to be filled by the Eurasian powers like China, Russia and Pakistan.

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China has played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and is welcome to contribute to the rebuilding of the country, Taleban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Chinese state media.

Taleban militants seized control over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety. Many fear a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taleban rule that ended 20 years ago.

In dealing with the Taleban, an increasingly powerful China may be able to leverage the fact that unlike Russia and the United States, it has not fought in Afghanistan.

Read more: Pak-China synerigize on Afghanistan while India struggles

“China is a big country with a huge economy and capacity – I think they can play a very big role in the rebuilding, rehabilitation, reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Mr Shaheen told CGTN television in an interview late on Thursday (Aug 19).

During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s meeting with a Taleban delegation in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin last month, Mr Wang said he hoped Afghanistan could adopt a moderate Islamist policy.

China has cited religious extremism as a destabilising force in its western Xinjiang region and has long worried that Taleban-controlled territory would be used to harbour separatist forces.

 

Wang Yi, Qureshi discuss Afghanistan

 

On 18th August, Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi spoke on a call with Chinese state councillor Wang Yi. The two leaders discussed Afghanistan’s changing environment. Fm Qureshi said that “We have supported the Afghan peace process & as part of Troika + both Pakistan and China made concrete contributions to peace efforts.”

Read more: No democracy in Afghanistan: Taliban

He also said, “The protection, safety, security and rights of the Afghan people is paramount & an inclusive political settlement essential…Important for the international community to remain engaged in support of the Afghan people and to sustain economic engagement.”

 

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk