BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday announced his strong support for Afghanistan at a regional conference, without mentioning human rights abuses by the country’s Taliban leadership.
Xi pledged China’s support in a message to a gathering of representatives from Afghanistan, China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in a city in central China. China which highlights Beijing’s aspirations to play a leading role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces. last August.
A “peaceful, stable, developed and prosperous Afghanistan” is what Afghans aspire to, 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 the peaceful and stable development of Afghanistan,” Xi said in his message to the rally in Tunxi. , a center of the tourism industry in Anhui Province.
Xi gave no details, although China has already sent emergency aid to Afghanistan and is seeking to develop copper mining there.
China follows what it calls a strict policy of “non-intervention” in the internal affairs of other countries, including opposing those organized for humanitarian purposes unless sanctioned by the United Nations. Despite this, Beijing is frequently accused of interfering in its own domestic and international interests.
Special envoys for Afghanistan from China, the United States and Russia, a group known as the the “enlarged troika”, were also meeting simultaneously in Tunxi.
Although it has yet to recognize 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 hosted a high-level delegation of the group for a meeting on July 28, 2021 in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Wang called the group an important “pivotal” force for peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
On this and other occasions, the Chinese pushed the Taliban for assurances that they would not allow operations within Afghanistan’s borders by members of the Turkish Muslim Uyghur minority willing to overthrow the Chinese regime in their home region of Xinjiang.
Wang also made a surprise stopover in Kabul last week to meet Taliban leaders, even as the international community fumed over the radical movement’s broken promise a day earlier to open schools for girls beyond sixth grade.
China has carefully avoided mentioning limits on girls’ education and other human rights violations, especially those targeting women, while keeping its embassy in Kabul open.
The foreign ministers of Qatar and Indonesia were invited to the meeting of neighboring states as guests. Taliban-appointed Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi is representing Afghanistan at the meeting.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.