BEIJING: China has warned its nationals in Afghanistan to leave the war-torn country urgently in view of the raging violence ahead of the withdrawal of the US troops.
The warning comes as the fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban militants have escalated in recent weeks. The insurgents have captured dozens of new districts in Afghanistan.
China's embassy in Afghanistan has warned Chinese nationals to leave Afghanistan, amid a rapid rise in violence in the country as the Taliban recaptures territories ahead of the complete withdrawal of the US and NATO troops, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020 following multiple rounds of negotiations to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home.
The international troops were scheduled to leave by September. The Embassy asked Chinese citizens and organisations to take extra precautions and strengthen their emergency preparedness as the situation deteriorated.
"This year, the conflicts in Afghanistan are constant, the terrorist attacks are frequent and the security situation is becoming more severe and complicated," the embassy said in a notice.
It urged Chinese citizens to "be more cautious" and to "urgently depart from the country through international commercial flights", the Post reported.
China has been critical of the US troops withdrawal, saying the hasty decision to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan has severely impacted the Afghan domestic peace process and negatively affected the regional stability.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has held a trilateral meeting with his Pakistan and Afghanistan counterparts earlier this year during which he called for a ceasefire in Afghanistan.
China has stepped up its diplomacy with both Pakistan and Afghanistan to deal with the fallout of the US and NATO troops withdrawal which is already resulting in increasing incidents of violence in Afghanistan.
Beijing seeks to carve out its Afghanistan policy, to safeguard its interests especially the security of Xinjiang province.
Observers say China's worries stem from Uygur Muslim militants from Xinjiang belonging to the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), who joined the Islamic State and fought in Syrian civil war, returning to the volatile province which shared borders with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Afghanistan besides Central Asian States, Kyrgyztan and Kazakhstan.
China has been fending off allegations of genocide against Uygur Muslims of Xinjiang by the US, the EU and international human rights organisations.