Taliban Embraces 'Great Neighboring Country' China, Vows to Work Closely Together

The Taliban has recently embraced the "great neighboring" country of China and has vowed to work closely with the Asian nation.

During a recent interview with the South China Morning Post's This Week in Asia, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said, "China, our great neighboring country, can have a constructive and positive role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and also in the economic development and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan. It is expected [that] China [will] play its role."

"We are ready to exchange views with China on how to forge ahead in terms of boosting our mutual relations, establishing peace in the region, and its assistance in the reconstruction of Afghanistan," Suhail continued.

During the interview, Suhail also said that the Taliban has "given a clear message to all that no one can use the soil of Afghanistan against neighboring and other countries."

The Taliban recently conducted a military takeover of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

Since the takeover, China has shown support for the Taliban and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a recent statement that the U.S. and the international community should "positively guide" the Taliban leaders.

According to the South China Morning Post, China's special envoy for Afghan affairs Yue Xiaoyong recently told the Chinese website, Guancha.cn, that it was important to continue communications with the Taliban.

Reuters reported that following a call between Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "While respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan, the U.S. should take concrete action to help Afghanistan fight terrorism and stop violence, rather than playing double standards or fighting terrorism selectively."

Shortly after, State Department spokesperson Ned Price issued a statement on the call between Blinken and Wang, saying that "Blinken spoke today with PRC State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals."

While the Taliban has vowed to work with China, following an attack by the Islamic State militant group ISIS-K, at the Kabul international airport, Chinese state media criticized President Joe Biden, saying that the attacks "prove his incompetence."

In an article written by The Daily Times editorial staff, they said that "the terror attacks by the ISIS will only make the Biden administration's withdrawal more miserable and infamous."

Newsweek reached out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Taliban
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen recently said that the Taliban plans to embrace its neighboring country of China. Above, Shaheen attends a press conference in Moscow on July 9, 2021. Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty