China said on Wednesday that it is willing to communicate with the leaders of Afghanistan’s new Taliban administration, calling its formation a “necessary step” in the country’s rebuilding.
When asked whether China will recognize the new government, whose leaders were announced on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the comment during a daily briefing in Beijing.
Top positions in Afghanistan’s new administration were filled by Taliban members, including an associate of the group’s founder as premier and a wanted man on a US terrorist list as interior minister.
Wang said that China respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
“We hope the new Afghanistan authorities will listen broadly to people of all races and factions, so as to meet the aspirations of its own peoples and the expectations of the international community,” he added.
China has advocated for the establishment of an “open and inclusive” government after the Taliban seized control in August. It has also stated its desire to strengthen “friendly and cooperative” ties with Afghanistan.
Last month, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, had said, “The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.”
“We welcome this. 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,” she had added.
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said China had played a positive role in fostering peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and was welcome to assist in the country’s reconstruction.
“China is a big country with a huge economy and capacity — I think they can play a very big role in the rebuilding, rehabilitation, reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Shaheen had told CGTN television in an interview.
A Taliban spokesman was recently reported in the media as stating that the Taliban wants Afghanistan to be included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Taliban had previously identified China as its “most important partner,” stating that Afghanistan turned to Beijing to reconstruct the country and utilize its vast copper resources as the war-torn country faced widespread famine and economic collapse.