After the Taliban occupied Afghanistan, China appointed its full-time ambassador to Kabul. China was also the first country in the world to do this. A Taliban spokesman confirmed this and said new Chinese ambassador Zhao Jing met Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund and Foreign Minister Sheikh Amir Khan Muttaki.
The Taliban are not officially recognized by any foreign government. Beijing did not indicate that the appointment of a new ambassador to Afghanistan was a gesture toward formal recognition of the Taliban.
Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, wrote on the social media platform: “I am happy about his new mission in Afghanistan.”
“This is the normal rotation of the Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan and aims to further promote dialogue and cooperation between China and Afghanistan. China’s policy toward Afghanistan is clear and consistent,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A spokesman for the Taliban government’s foreign ministry told Reuters that the new envoy, Zhao Jing, is the first ambassador from a country to hold the post since August 2021, when the Taliban withdrew U.S.-led foreign troops after 20 years took power.
China’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, took over the post in 2019 and his term ended last month. There are other diplomats with the title of ambassador in Kabul, but all of them assumed their posts before the Taliban came to power.
However, other countries and institutions, such as Pakistan and the European Union, have since sent senior diplomats to lead missions bearing the title “Chargé d’Affaires,” which does not require Afghanistan to provide embassy credentials.
After the US withdrawal, the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15, 2021 and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.