World should ‘positively guide’ Taliban: China to US

The international community should engage with the Taliban and “positively guide” them, provide economic and humanitarian aid, and help maintain social stability in Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his US counterpart Antony Blinken in a phone call

Aug 30, 2021
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

The international community should engage with the Taliban and “positively guide” them, provide economic and humanitarian aid, and help maintain social stability in Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his US counterpart Antony Blinken in a phone call. 

In the phone call--the second time in the last two weeks - Wang Yi said, “While respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan, the US should take concrete action to help Afghanistan fight terrorism and stop violence, rather than playing double standards or fighting terrorism selectively.” 

In a statement released by China’s Foreign Ministry, he said, “The US, in particular, needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability, curb currency depreciation and inflation, and embark on the journey of peaceful reconstruction at an early date.”

He also warned the “hasty withdrawal” of international troops could allow terrorist groups to “regroup and come back stronger”.

According to a statement by the US State Department, Blinken discussed the “importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals.”

Blinken also added the UNSC should also be unified in telling the Taliban to “guarantee that Afghan territory cannot become a hotbed of terrorist attacks or a safe haven for terrorism”, according to a report in Chinese state-owned Xinhua News Agency. 

On the other hand, in what appears sort of blaming the US, Wang said the US “clearly knows the causes of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan”. He added further that any action to be taken by the UNSC should contribute to easing tensions instead of intensifying them, and contribute to a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan rather than a return to turmoil. 

Importantly, Beijing is among the handful of countries that kept its embassy open in Kabul after the Taliban takeover in the country. However, it repeatedly stressed the need to ensure that Afghan soil should not be used by any terrorist groups, including China-centric ETIM. 

Calling China a “strong and powerful nation”, senior Taliban leader Abbas Stanekzai last week in an address said, “We thank them for their positive policy they have played in Afghanistan...and for their humanitarian assistance to the country.” 

(SAM)