China waiting for establishment of new Afghan gov’t before recognition

by Sami Burgaz
Beijing urges Afghan Taliban to unite with all groups, form ‘inclusive political structure’

ANKARA (AA) – Although China has expressed willingness for “friendly cooperation” with Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of nearly the entire country, it says that the question of recognition of a Taliban rule is premature.

“For a government in Afghanistan to be recognized, we should first wait until the establishment of that government,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday, according to state-run media.

“China expects an open, inclusive and broadly representative government in Afghanistan. Then comes the question of diplomatic recognition,” he added.

The statement comes two days after Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China “respects the wishes and choices of the Afghan people” and that it has “maintained contact and communication with the Afghan Taliban.”

She said that “China respects Afghan people’s right to decide their own destiny and future independently” and is ready to continue to develop “good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation” and play a constructive role in Afghanistan’s “peace and reconstruction.”

Late last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held a meeting Mullah Ghani Baradar, political chief of the Afghan Taliban who has returned to Kabul after two decades, in north China’s Tianjin city.

The Taliban completed their swift sweep across Afghanistan as they took the capital Kabul on Sunday amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn country.

The group is set to return to power 20 years after they were ousted by US-led foreign forces. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, addressed his first press conference on Tuesday, and said they are working to form a government.

Beijing also urged countries to immediately stop military interference in sovereign countries in the name of “human rights,” as it has “caused massive civilian deaths and destroyed local economies.”

The spokesman said Afghan Taliban should unite with all groups and form an “inclusive political structure, containing terrorism and crimes.”

Other countries such as Pakistan and Russia have also adopted a wait-and-see policy, saying the decision to recognize the Taliban would not be unilateral, and that the group has given “encouraging signals.”

Joseph Borell, EU’s foreign policy chief, has said that cooperation with any future Afghan government will be conditioned on a peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans.


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