China says willing to develop ‘friendly relations’ with Taliban

China on Monday said that it is ready to develop "friendly relations" with the Afghan Taliban, a day after the Sunni Fundamentalist insurgent group secured a decisively military victory over the now collapsed US-backed Afghan government

Aug 16, 2021
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China-Taliban

China on Monday said that it is ready to develop "friendly relations" with the Afghan Taliban, a day after the Sunni Fundamentalist insurgent group secured a decisively military victory over the now collapsed US-backed Afghan government. 

"China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop... friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan," Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying by AFP, the French news agency. 

On Sunday, the Taliban entered Kabul and took control of the capital and the abandoned presidential palace. Former president Ashraf Ghani, along with two of his aides, fled the country on Sunday evening, without even informing Abdullah Abdullah, the chief peace negotiator, and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The duo was negotiating a peaceful transition of power at the time. 

For some months now, China has been cultivating working relations with the Taliban as it became clear that the group would come in power in some form. A high-powered nine-member Taliban delegation had visited China for talks recently. 

Russia and China are among the countries that have not vacated their embassies despite the volatile security situation in Kabul on Sunday. 

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, has said they will recognize the Taliban only if the group forms an inclusive government that respects basic human rights in the country. 

Russia has been expressing concern for some months now over the instability in Afghanistan. Russia will not rush with the question of recognizing or not recognizing the Taliban, said Zamir Kabulov, President Vladimir Putin's special representative on Afghanistan said, adding they will first observe the action of the government closely and only then it will make the decision, the state media reported.

However, TASS news agency quoted Kubalov as saying that Moscow doesn’t see the Taliban as a threat to Central Asia, a region Russian considers its backyard and remains sensitive to its security.

(SAM)