Amid the political turmoil in Afghanistan, China has expressed hope that the Taliban will stand by its commitment of establishing an “open and inclusive” Islamic government in Afghanistan and will ensure a peaceful transition of power without violence and terrorism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying today said that China has noticed the Sunday statement from Afghan Taliban which said that the war is over, and they will start consultation on establishment of an open and inclusive Islamic government and take the responsibility of safety of Afghan citizens and foreign diplomatic corps.
She said, China hopes this will be implemented to ensure a peaceful transition, stop violence and terrorism. Taliban insurgents stormed Kabul on Sunday facing little resistance from Afghan government forces after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. This brought a collapse to a two-decade “war on terrorism” by the US and its allies which had promised to transform a war-ravaged Afghanistan to a democratic polity.
China is concerned by the spillover effects of the resulting instability from a prolonged civil war in Afghanistan in its restive Xinjiang province. To arrest these fears, it openly welcomed the Taliban delegation in Tianjin last month but so far it has not disclosed as to when and under what condition, will China recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government in Kabul.
Hua said, on the basis of fully respecting Afghanistan’s national sovereignty and the will of all parties, Beijing has been maintaining contact and communication with Afghan Taliban. Many countries have said that they will not recognize a Taliban government if Taliban captures Kabul by force. The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Afghanistan on Monday as the country has plunged into darkness and despair.
While most of the embassies in Kabul including that of the US and EU countries rushed to evacuate its diplomatic staff, Hua said the Chinese Embassy is still operating normally with its ambassador and some staff. However, most of the Chinese nationals have already been evacuated from Afghanistan, she said.
Hua further said, “We hope the Afghan Taliban will be united with other parties and with all nations and build a political framework in keeping with national conditions that is broadly inclusive and will lay the foundation for enduring peace.”
She also emphasized Taliban’s assurance to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting last month that it will not permit anti-China forces, that is, the Uygur Islamic militants of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is fighting for the separation of China’s volatile Xinjiang province.
According to a recent UN report, hundreds of militants of ETIM, which is affiliated to Al Qaeda terror outfit, are converging in Afghanistan amid the military advances made by the Taliban in the country. Xinjiang shares borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), besides Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.