Prez Xi Jinping offers firm support for Afghanistan

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Jasnoor Kaur

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered strong support for Afghanistan at a regional conference on Thursday but made no mention of the country’s Taliban leaders’ human rights crimes.

In a message to representatives from China, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, in a central Chinese city, Xi vowed China’s support, highlighting Beijing’s ambitions to assume a leadership role in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US forces in August.

Afghans desire a “peaceful, stable, developed, and affluent Afghanistan” that “serves the common interests of regional countries and the international community,” according to Xi.

China has already sent emergency supplies to Afghanistan and is looking to promote copper mining there, according to Xi.

China maintains a strict policy of “non-interference” in the internal affairs of other nations, including opposing humanitarian demonstrations until they are authorized by the United Nations. Given this, Beijing is repeatedly accused of intervening in domestic and international issues to achieve its own objectives.

In Tunxi, special envoys for Afghanistan from the United States, Russia, and China, dubbed the “Extended Troika,” were also meeting.

China has moved fast to strengthen its connections with the Taliban regime, despite the fact that it has yet to acknowledge the Taliban authority.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited a high-powered team from the Taliban for a meeting on July 28, 2021, in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, a month before the Taliban assumed power. Wang described the group as a “pivotal” element in Afghanistan’s peace and rehabilitation.

On that and other times, the Chinese have pressed the Taliban for assurances that members of China’s Turkic Muslim Uyghur minority will not attempt to overturn Chinese control in their homeland of Xinjiang within Afghanistan’s borders.

Wang reportedly made a surprise visit to Kabul last week to meet Taliban commanders, despite international outrage over the hard-line movement’s unfulfilled commitment a day before to open schools to girls beyond the sixth grade.

While keeping its embassy in Kabul open, China has avoided highlighting restrictions on girls’ education and other human rights violations, notably those targeting women.

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