China strengthens ties with Taliban-led Afghanistan, accepts new envoy

Xi Jinping received the credentials of Bilal Karimi

New Delhi: China has taken a significant step to strengthen its ties with the Taliban-led Afghanistan by accepting the credentials of its new envoy to Beijing on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping received the credentials of Bilal Karimi, the ambassador and special representative of Afghanistan, in a formal ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.

Karimi, who assumed his post as ambassador to China in December 2023, was among the 42 diplomats who presented their credentials to Xi on the same day. Xi welcomed Karimi as an ambassador to China and expressed his hope for enhancing bilateral cooperation and friendship.

Karimi also met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who reiterated China’s respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence and its non-interference in its internal affairs. He also said China supports Afghanistan’s efforts to achieve peace and stability and to pursue an inclusive and moderate political and social system.

China has been one of the few countries that have maintained close contact with the Taliban since they took over Afghanistan in August 2021, following the hasty withdrawal of US troops. China has also appointed its full-time ambassador to Kabul, Wang Yu, who presented his diplomatic credentials to Taliban’s Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund in November 2023.

China was the first country to send a full-time ambassador to Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul, signaling its readiness to invest and expand its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the war-torn country. China already has mining contracts in Afghanistan, which is rich in mineral resources and strategic location.

However, China has also set some conditions for the Taliban before granting them full diplomatic recognition. China has urged the Taliban to reform their policies, improve their security situation, and improve their relations with their neighbors and the international community. China has also asked the Taliban to ensure that Afghanistan will not become a haven for terrorists and extremists.

Xi Jinping received the credentials of Bilal Karimi

The Taliban, who have not been officially recognized by any country so far, have pledged to not allow any forces to use Afghan soil to harm China or any other country. They have also expressed their willingness to cooperate with China on economic development and reconstruction.