China asks Taliban to make 'clean break' with terror groups, form inclusive govt for recognition

'The war launched by the US is the major reason for the chaotic situation in Afghanistan and difficulties in the local economy and the livelihood,' Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Taliban fighters stand guard on their side while people wait to cross at a border crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Torkham (Photo | AP)
Taliban fighters stand guard on their side while people wait to cross at a border crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Torkham (Photo | AP)

BEIJING: As the Taliban took complete control of Kabul after the US troops left Afghanistan ending America's two-decade-old war, China on Tuesday asked the militant group to make a "clean break" from terrorist outfits and form an open, inclusive government that follows moderate policies to get international recognition.

"Afghanistan is broken free from foreign military intervention and the Afghan people are standing at a new starting point of peace and reconstruction," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here on Tuesday, flaying US military intervention in the neighbouring country.

"The US troop withdrawal shows that the wanton military intervention in other countries and forcible imposition of values and social systems onto others will lead to nowhere and is doomed to fail," he said.

However, when asked whether China is ready to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate authority in the country, Wang said, "we hope Afghanistan can form an open inclusive and representative government, follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, combat all forms of terrorist forces live in harmony with other countries, live up to the aspiration of its own people and the international community".

Stating that China respects Afghanistan's sovereignty and will not interfere and follow the friendship with "entire Afghan people", Wang said, "facts show that in realising economic development we need an open inclusive political structure, implementation of moderate foreign and domestic policies and clean break from terrorist groups in all forms".

He specially mentioned the Taliban's commitment given by its de-facto leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his last month's visit to China that Kabul will not allow the Uygur Muslim militant group - the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is fighting for the independence of the volatile Xinjiang province, to operate from Afghan soil.

"China will continue to maintain close communication and coordination with all parties in Afghanistan and the world to support Afghanistan and provide assistance to help Afghanistan to restore peace, rebuild economy, combat terrorist groups including ETIM and integrate into the international community," he said.

When asked whether China would provide humanitarian assistance to the Taliban or through the international aid groups, he said that the US should "shoulder due responsibility".

"The war launched by the US is the major reason for the chaotic situation in Afghanistan and difficulties in the local economy and the livelihood," he said.

"What the US should not do is to simply stick to their heels and leave the mess behind," he said.

"The US should shoulder due responsibility and work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with direly needed economic, humanitarian aid and direly needed assistance and help the regime structure to maintain normal operations and uphold social stability to contain currency devaluation and price hikes, so that Afghanistan can achieve peace and reconstruction," he said.

China, he said, has provided "large amounts" of help and support in the economic and social development in Afghanistan for a "long time" and would like to support the peace and reconstruction process on the basis of "its own will and demand".

On why China, along with Russia, abstained from the voting on the UN Security Council resolution asking for commitments made by it regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and foreign nationals besides not sheltering terrorist groups, Wang said Beijing had "big doubts" about the content.

"The countries concerned circulated a draft resolution on Friday evening, demanding actions to be taken on Monday."

China has big doubts about the necessity and urgency of adopting this resolution and balance of its content," he said.

China and Russia put forward "reasonable amendments".

"Unfortunately, our amendments have not been fully adopted. China always opposes forcible pushing of resolutions," prompting China to abstain, he said.


"Fundamental changes have taken place in Afghanistan and action to be taken by the UNSC, including the timing of the actions, should help to ease the conflict instead of the tensions and facilitate smooth transition instead of plunging the country back into chaos," he said, adding that the current crisis in Kabul is "directly related to hasty chaotic withdrawal of foreign troops".

"We hope the relevant countries will realise the fact that withdrawal itself is not an end of the responsibility but the beginning of reflection and correction," he said.

"We hope relevant countries will change the wrong practice of imposing their own model on others and change the hegemonic practice of imposing sanctions and using force at every turn," he said.

Apparently referring to the US move to delist ETIM as a terrorist outfit, Wang said the recent terrorist attacks once again proved that the war in Afghanistan will not achieve the goals of eliminating terrorist groups in the country.

"Countries should follow international laws and UNSC resolutions resolutely combat international terrorist organisations such as the ETIM, ISIS and Al-Qaeda through cooperation. On the issue of terrorism, there must not be any double standards or selective approach," he said.

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