China says Afghan Taliban must reform before full diplomatic ties

BEIJING: On Tuesday, China stated that Afghanistan’s Taliban government must implement political reforms, enhance security, and improve relations with neighboring countries before being granted full diplomatic recognition.

While Beijing does not formally recognize the Taliban as rulers of Afghanistan, both countries maintain diplomatic engagement, hosting each other’s ambassadors.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin commented on the matter, saying, “China has always believed that Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community.” He added, “We hope that Afghanistan will further respond to the expectations of the international community, build an open and inclusive political structure, and implement moderate and stable domestic and foreign policies.”

Wang emphasized China’s encouragement for Kabul to “resolutely combat all types of terrorist forces, live in harmony with all countries around the world, especially neighboring countries, and integrate with the international community at an early date.”

“As the concerns of all parties receive stronger responses, diplomatic recognition of the Afghan government will naturally follow,” he concluded.

The Taliban government, which took power following the withdrawal of US troops in August 2021, has not been officially recognized by any country. Despite this, Afghanistan and China have maintained certain diplomatic ties.

The new Afghan rulers have pledged not to allow the country to be used as a base for militants, and in return, China has offered economic support and investment for reconstruction. In a position paper released earlier this year, China’s foreign ministry expressed respect for “the independent choices made by the Afghan people” and their religious beliefs and national customs.