China on Wednesday welcomed the Taliban’s announcement of formation of an interim government as “a necessary step” and “an end to the anarchy” in Afghanistan.
Beijing also appeared to water down its earlier stand of underlining the importance of the Taliban setting up an “inclusive” government, which some officials had suggested was an expectation of Beijing as it considers recognising the new regime.
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Asked how China viewed Tuesday’s announcement by the Taliban of an interim government — one comprised of several sanctioned terrorists, no minorities, and no women — and whether Beijing would recognise this government, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: “The Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan is operating normally. We stand ready to maintain communication with the new Afghan government and leaders.”
“We hope the new Afghan administration in the capacity of interim government will broadly solicit the opinions of all ethnic groups and factions and live up to the expectation of the Afghan people and aspiration of the international community,” he added. “We noted that the Afghan Taliban stressed that all people will benefit from the new administration.”
China earlier said it would consider recognising the Taliban only after government-formation in Kabul. Mr. Wang welcomed the announcement of an interim government, saying “this has put an end to the anarchy in Afghanistan that lasted for over three weeks and is a necessary step for Afghanistan to restore domestic order and pursue post-war reconstruction.”
"China’s position on the Afghan issue is consistent and clear,” he said. “We always respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, adhere to non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, and support the Afghan people in independently choosing a development path suited to the country's conditions.”
Mr. Wang did add that China hoped “Afghanistan will establish a broadly based and inclusive political structure, follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, resolutely combat all types of terrorist forces, and live on friendly terms with other countries, especially its neighbours”.
China and Russia, as well as China and Pakistan, have been regularly engaging on the Afghan issue in recent weeks. Mr. Wang said China had on September 5 attended a meeting with special representatives of Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan held “under the chairmanship of the Pakistani side”. Its special envoy Yue Xiaoyang had attended the meeting where the countries “exchanged views mainly on the situation in Afghanistan, especially cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries on the Afghan-related affairs, and maintained communication with Russia, reaching much consensus”.
China on Wednesday repeated its criticism of the U.S. and its withdrawal . Asked about the U.S. military destroying equipment before the exit, Mr. Wang said: “U.S. troops had been wreaking havoc in Afghanistan and inflicting serious damage on the Afghan people from the very first day of its invasion to the last minute of its withdrawal.”
“What the U.S. did in Afghanistan over the past two decades is a textbook example which shows us the consequences of wanton military intervention and attempts to impose one’s own ideology and values on others,” he said. “The history of Afghanistan is now turning a new page. It’s imperative for the international community to ponder how to forestall the repeat of Afghanistan’s tragedy.”