China offering friendly relations with Taliban

‘The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan,’ said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Beijing has sought to maintain unofficial ties with the Taliban throughout the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, which spurred an advance by the Islamist hardliners across the country that saw them capture the capital Kabul on Sunday.

China shares a rugged 76-kilometre border with Afghanistan.

Beijing has long feared Afghanistan could become a staging point for Muslim minority Uyghur separatists in Xinjiang.

But a top-level Taliban delegation met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin last month, promising that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militants.

In exchange, China offered economic support and investment for Afghanistan’s reconstruction.

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