China has pledged to keep its embassy in Afghanistan open and to boost humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country, according to a Taliban spokesperson.
Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the organization, claimed on Twitter that Abdul Salam Hanafi, a member of the group’s political office in Doha, Qatar, “held a phone conversation with Wu Jianghao, Deputy Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China,” spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter.
“The Chinese deputy foreign minister said that they would maintain their embassy in Kabul, adding our relations would beef up as compared to the past. Afghanistan can play an important role in [the] security and development of the region,” he said.
“China will also continue and increase its humanitarian assistance especially for [the] treatment of Covid-19,” the spokesman continued.
especially for treatment of covid-19.
— Suhail Shaheen. محمد سهیل شاهین (@suhailshaheen1) September 2, 2021
There was no immediate confirmation from Beijing.
As the Taliban transition from militant organization to government authority, most of the world has taken a wait-and-see approach to engagement with them.
China, on the other hand, has repeatedly criticized what it views as the US’s premature and ill-planned departure from Afghanistan and has said that after the Taliban’s takeover, it is ready to develop “friendly and cooperative” ties with them.
Although Beijing started evacuating Chinese people from the country months ago as security worsened, China’s embassy in Kabul remained open.
Beijing, on the other hand, has not recognized the Taliban as the de facto administration.
According to experts, a stable and cooperative government in Kabul will open the path for Beijing to expand its overseas infrastructure drive.
Meanwhile, the Taliban may see China as a vital source of investment and financial assistance.
Chinese firms have also been looking at Afghanistan’s huge copper and lithium mines, but analysts believe that given the country’s volatile security situation, a commodities rush is improbable.