Guess what? China has released an 11-point paper to fully elaborate its position on the Afghan issue and express firm support for the reconstruction of the war-torn country and hoped that the Taliban will implement their commitment and take more effective measures to crush all terrorist forces, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, with greater determination.
- “We hope that the interim Government of Afghanistan will protect the fundamental rights and interests of all Afghans, including women, children, and all ethnic groups, and continue to actively work to secure the interests of the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community,” the document said.
- The paper, titled “China’s Position on the Afghan Issue,” lists China’s adherence to the “Three respects” and “Three nevers,” as the first point. These are respect for Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, respect the independent choices made by the Afghan people, and respect the religious beliefs and national customs of Afghanistan.
- “We are ready to work more closely with other neighbours of Afghanistan and the rest of the world for Afghanistan’s stability and development and sustainable security and prosperity in the region,” it added.
- The document noted that China has never interfered in the internal affairs of the country and does not pursue selfish interests, and never pursues the so-called sphere of influence.
- China’s Foreign Ministry has expressed hope that the Taliban will create an inclusive political structure and adopt moderate and cautious domestic and foreign policies and have friendly exchanges with all countries, especially neighbouring countries.
- On the other hand, the Chinese foreign ministry has also called on the Taliban to take more concrete measures to tackle drug planting, production, and trafficking.
- The statement also expressed concerns over the presence of the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)” saying that it poses a severe threat to the security of China, Afghanistan, and the region. It hoped that “Afghanistan will fulfill its commitment in earnest and take more effective measures to crack down on all terrorist forces.”
- It suggested that Afghanistan should be supported in taking comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism and “prevent the country from again becoming a safe haven, breeding ground and source of terrorism.”
- According to the statement, it is a shared view of regional countries that the military interference and “democratic transformation” by external forces in Afghanistan over the past 20 years have inflicted “enormous losses and pain on Afghanistan.”
- The statement suggested that “under the new circumstances,” Afghanistan should be a platform for cooperation among various parties rather than geopolitical games.
- China also vowed to provide assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels for the Afghan refugees.
- The Wednesday paper urged the US to live up to its commitments and responsibilities to Afghanistan and noted that “by seizing Afghanistan’s overseas assets and imposing unilateral sanctions, the US, which created the Afghan issue in the first place, is the biggest external factor that hinders substantive improvement in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.”
- China also urged the US not to “practice double standards on counter-terrorism, or advance their geopolitical agenda” by supporting terror groups.
Zoom out: It should be noted that with the Taliban’s dominance over Afghanistan, China has been one of the countries with close ties to the group.
- China was one of the first countries to accept a Taliban delegation as soon as Kabul fell to the group in August 2021.
- As per reports, China is also providing modern weaponry to the Taliban in the wake of the recent attack by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) on a hotel in Kabul that mostly housed Chinese nationals.
- Apart from this, the Taliban also signed its first major energy extractions agreement since taking control of Afghanistan in 2021, agreeing to a 25-year pact with a Chinese company to drill for oil in the country’s Amu Darya basin.