BEIJING – China said on Monday that it is ready to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with Afghanistan, after Taliban took control of the country after 20-year-long war.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters, “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 also urged the Taliban to “ensure a smooth transition” of power and keep its promises to establish an “open and inclusive Islamic government” and ensure the safety of Afghans and foreign citizens.
The spokesperson said that China’s embassy in Kabul will remain operational.
In a statement Monday, the Chinese embassy told its citizens to “pay close attention to the security situation” and stay indoors.
Last month, a delegation of Taliban delegation led by Taliban negotiator and deputy leader Mullah Baradar Akhund visited China to hold key meetings.
Nine Taliban representatives met Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on a two-day visit during which the peace process and security issues were discussed, a Taliban spokesperson said.
Wang said the Taliban are expected to “play an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan”, according to a readout of the meeting from the foreign ministry.
Security in Afghanistan, with which China shares a border, has been deteriorating fast as the United States withdraws its troops by September.