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China’s position on Taliban

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Beijing, 20 August 2021 (TDI):  Hua Chunying has replied and explained China’s position on Afghanistan in a recent press conference held today in Beijing. While replying to a question from Bloomberg, a Chinese Spokesperson explain China’s standpoint on the Taliban and future engagement of China in Afghanistan. Here is the question and the reply.

Bloomberg: Has China been in touch with the Taliban since it seized Kabul? Also, what conditions would China have in order to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan? Would it specifically demand that the organization protect the rights of women better than it did when it was in charge 20 years ago?

Hua Chunying: China maintains contact and communication with the Afghan Taliban and other parties on the basis of full respect for the sovereignty of Afghanistan and the will of all parities.

After major changes took place in Afghanistan recently, the leaders and the spokesperson of the Afghan Taliban have said publicly through different channels that the Afghan Taliban would resolve problems the people face, meet people’s aspirations and stay committed to forming an open and inclusive Islamic government. They said the Afghan Taliban works toward equality and elimination of discrimination, and announced that former government staffs would be pardoned and women’s rights and interests would be protected, including freedom of speech, employment and access to education. The spokesperson also said, the Afghan Taliban would act responsibly to protect the safety of Afghans and foreign missions in Afghanistan, build good relations with all countries and never allow anyone to use the Afghan territory to threaten other countries. China has taken note of these positive statements and signals.

We have also noticed that some political figures of Russia and other countries and many international media have recognized Afghan Taliban’s behaviors after it entered Kabul, believing that they have been good, positive and pragmatic actions. Although the Afghan situation is not fully clear yet, they believe the Afghan Taliban will not repeat history, and the Afghan Taliban today is more clear-headed and rational than it was in power last time.

We encourage the Afghan Taliban to follow through its positive statements, unite with all parties and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, establish a broadly-based, inclusive political framework that fits the national conditions and wins public support through dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, and adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies. That’s what we hope to see. It’s also hoped that the Afghan Taliban can contain all kinds of terrorist and criminal acts and ensure a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan to take the long-suffering Afghans away from wars and chaos as soon as possible and build lasting peace. The process of peace and reconstruction won’t be plain sailing since many contradictions have built up in Afghanistan and difficult problems have been left by the US. In this process, the international community should encourage and support solidarity and cooperation of all parties and ethnic groups in Afghanistan to open a new chapter in the Afghan history.

I noticed that some people have been saying they don’t trust the Afghan Taliban. I want to say that nothing stays unchanged. When understanding and handling problems, we should adopt a holistic, interconnected and developmental dialectical approach. We should look at both the past and the present. We need to not only listen to what they say, but also look at what they do. If we do not keep pace with the times, but stick to fixed mindset and ignore the development of the situation, we will never reach a conclusion that is in line with reality. In fact, the rapid evolution of the situation in Afghanistan also reveals how the outside world lacked objective judgment on the local situation and accurate understanding of the public opinion there. In this respect, some western countries in particular should learn some lessons.

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