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.
“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.
As a close neighbor & sincere friend of #Afghanistan, #China follows friendly policy toward all Afghan people. This will remain unchanged. China will continue to support peace & reconstruction in Afghanistan, and do our best to help it with economic &social development. pic.twitter.com/ld73P0eexd
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) August 18, 2021
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.
China has moved fast to fill geopolitical space vacated by US in Middle East.
The BRI lead is assured in Middle East, CARs, South Asia, Afghanistan, ASEAN & African continent.
US & India’s insistence that BRI is debt trap is loosing steam
Time for India to do realty check!
— Pravin Sawhney (@PravinSawhney) August 19, 2021
Wang Yi, Qureshi discuss Afghanistan
Spoke to my brother, State Councilor & FM #WangYi this morning on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
➖A peaceful #Afghanistan is of critical importance. We have supported the 🇦🇫 peace process & as part of Troika + both 🇵🇰 & 🇨🇳 made concrete contributions to peace efforts.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 18, 2021
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.”
Biden has handed Afghanistan’s lithium deposits over to China. https://t.co/9Mhix0ARoS
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 19, 2021
Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk