After being the first power to give them its political blessing, China formalizes its support for the Taliban with economic and humanitarian aid. To ingratiate itself with the newly appointed interim government and, above all, with the population of Afghanistan, Beijing offers 200 million yuan (26 million euros) in food and three million vaccines against the coronavirus.
This was proposed on Wednesday by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a virtual meeting with his counterparts from other neighboring countries of Afghanistan: Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In exchange for helping the Taliban rebuild the Afghan economy, Wang urged them to break with the terrorist groups that, in his opinion, “have dispersed and infiltrated in neighboring countries,” according to the newspaper ‘South China Morning Post’.
“We call on the Taliban to completely cut their ties with all extremist forces and take combative measures by force. All parties should strengthen information sharing and border controls, practicing immediate arrests of terrorist groups from Afghanistan to ensure regional stability, “proposed Wang Yi.
In addition to advocating the fight against drug trafficking, he asked to institutionalize these meetings of foreign officials from neighboring countries. An idea that his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, welcomed and enriched by suggesting that Afghanistan was also present in this new forum. “That will make us more effective in pursuing our common goals of lasting peace and stability,” he argued.
As the West discusses what to do with the Taliban, as the head of US diplomacy raised in Berlin on Wednesday, Antony Blink, China is rushing to fill the void after the disbandment of the White House. But, yes, he demands that the US and its allies “assume their responsibilities in the refugee problem.” After accusing Washington of bringing chaos to Afghanistan with its occupation and subsequent withdrawal, Wang Yi demanded “the necessary compensation for the nations that are willing to receive refugees.”
Recognition of the new regime
Further on, it was one of the spokesmen for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin. Although he is not one of the fiercest “warrior wolves” to have taken over China’s previously mild diplomacy, his criticisms were as harsh as they were politically charged. “What the US has done in Afghanistan in the last two decades is an example of a manual that shows us the consequences of a senseless military intervention and attempts to impose one’s ideology and values on others,” he denounced , as reported by the BBC.
Despite their support for the Taliban, staged at Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s welcome to them in Tianjin in July, even before they took power, Beijing it has not yet recognized the new regime. After confirming this week that his provisional government is led by the hard core of this fundamentalist movement, among which there are leaders wanted for terrorism, the Chinese Foreign spokesman did not hesitate to justify it. “China attaches great importance to the announcement of an interim government. This is a necessary step to restore internal order and move towards post-war reconstruction, ”said Wang Wenbin.
Like his superior, he also demanded that the Taliban cut ties with terrorist groups, especially the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which Beijing accuses of being behind the attacks and riots in the troubled Muslim province of Xinjiang. Bordering Afghanistan and rich in oil and gas, this vast region populated by ethnic Uighurs is strategic for Beijing. So much so that it has turned it into a police state with re-education camps and strong repression to subdue the rebellious Uighurs, many of whom in the past took refuge in Afghanistan and received help from their mujahideen. To prevent that from happening again, the authoritarian regime in Beijing courts the Taliban with millionaire promises, who already consider them the main supporter of the new Islamic Emirate.