Abdul Salam Hanafi, the deputy head of the Taliban political office in Qatar, met with the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu in Kabul on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesperson said. “They discussed the security of the Chinese embassy and diplomats, the current situation in Afghanistan, bilateral relations and China’s humanitarian assistance,” Sputnik quoting Mohammad Naeem tweet reported.
China has kept the embassy in Kabul open after the Taliban rapidly took control of the Afghan capital more than a week ago, prompting foreign nationals and their Afghan allies to seek immediate evacuation. According to the earlier media reports, China is prepared to recognise the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan if the terrorist group manages to overpower the democratically elected government in Kabul.
The Taliban began its offensive in May and began seizing key districts and seized control of the war-torn country on August 15. The recent US military withdrawal after a 20-year presence in Afghanistan has paved the way for the Taliban to seize control of vast swathes of Afghanistan and it now threatens the Kabul government. Despite the growing relationship, Beijing has shown apprehension about the group’s ties with East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is a domestic security concern.
China had conveyed to the visiting Taliban delegation last month that the ETIM poses a direct threat to its national security and territorial integrity and combating the ETIM is a common responsibility for the international community, a Chinese foreign ministry readout had said. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered this message during a meeting with the Head of the Afghan Taliban Political Commission Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday in Tianjin.
“We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organizations including the ETIM and resolutely and effectively combat them to remove obstacles, play a positive role and create enabling conditions for security, stability, development and cooperation in the region,” the Chinese readout said.