BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday issued strong support for Afghanistan at a regional conference, while not making any mention of human rights abuses by the country’s Taliban leaders.
Xi pledged China’s support in a message to a rally of representatives from Afghanistan, China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in a central Chinese city outlining Beijing’s aspirations for a leading role in Afghanistan. play after the withdrawal of American forces emphasized. last August.
A “peaceful, stable, developed and prosperous Afghanistan” is what Afghans strive for, which “serves the common interests of regional countries and the international community,” Xi said.
“China has always respected Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and is committed to supporting Afghanistan’s peaceful and stable development,” Xi said in his message to the rally in Tunxi, a center of the tourism industry in the Anhui Province.
Xi gave no details, although China has already sent first aid to Afghanistan and is trying to develop copper mining there.
China follows what it calls a strict policy of “non-intervention” in other countries’ internal affairs, including opposition to those staged for humanitarian purposes, unless approved by the United Nations. Despite this, Beijing is often accused of interfering in promoting its own local and international interests.
Special envoys for Afghanistan from China, the United States and Russia, a group known as the “Extended Troika,” also met simultaneously in Tunxi.
Although it has not yet recognized the Taliban government, China has moved quickly to strengthen its ties with the radical Islamic group.
A month before the Taliban took power, Foreign Minister Wang Yi presented a high-ranking delegation of the group for a meeting on July 28, 2021 in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Wang referred to the group as a key force vital to peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
On those and other occasions, Chinese have urged the Taliban to reassure them that they will not allow operations within Afghanistan’s borders by members of China’s Turkish Muslim Uyghur minority who intend to overthrow Chinese rule in their Xinjiang homeland.
Wang also made a surprise stop in Kabul last week to meet Taliban leaders, even as the international community was furious over the hard-line movement’s broken promise a day earlier to open schools to sixth-grade girls.
China has zealously avoided mentioning the restrictions on girls’ education and other human rights violations, especially those targeting women, while keeping its Kabul embassy open.
The foreign ministers of Qatar and Indonesia were invited as guests to the meeting of neighboring states. Taliban-appointed Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi will represent Afghanistan at the meeting.