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Sunday, January 23, 2022

China expects Taliban to ‘play important peace role’ in Afghanistan


China shares a border with Afghanistan, making stability in the South Asian country a crucial priority for Beijing.

China said it expects the Taliban to play an important role in the Afghan peace process as well as the rebuilding of the country following decades of violence, Reuters reported.

This came during meetings held on Wednesday in China attended by a delegation of nine representatives from the Afghan Taliban and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

UN warns Afghanistan heading towards ‘highest’ annual civilian casualties since 2009

“Politics, economy and issues related to the security of both countries and the current situation of Afghanistan and the peace process were discussed in the meetings. The Islamic Emirate assured China that the territory of Afghanistan would not be used against the security of any country,” Taliban spokesperson Mohammed Naeem tweeted.

Wang said he also hoped the insurgent group would crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement [ETIM] as it was a “direct threat to China’s national security” due to its presence in the Xinjiang region – also where most Uyghur Muslims are located.

China has faced global scrutiny for its mass crackdown on the minority Muslim Uyghurs, placing over one million in crowded detention camps where they face unspeakable torture including forced sterilisation.

The ETIM was placed on the US to its terror list in 2002 under the George W Bush administration but was removed in November last year as “there has been no credible evidence” that the group continues to exist, Washington said at the time.

Beijing used its fight against the group as a pretext to justify its actions in Xinjiang.

The talks in China come amid heightened security concerns in Afghanistan, which have intensified since US President Joe Biden’s announcement to withdraw all foreign troops by 11 September.

China shares a border with Afghanistan, making stability in the South Asian country a crucial priority for Beijing.

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