The Taliban has given a warm reception to China’s newly appointed ambassador, Zhao Sheng. This marks the first time since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021 that such an elaborate reception has been extended to a foreign ambassador in Kabul. Afghan officials see this as an encouraging sign for other nations to come forward and establish relations with the Taliban-led government.
China has explained that the appointment of Ambassador Zhao is a routine change in their diplomatic representation in Afghanistan, with the primary aim of advancing dialogue and cooperation between China and Afghanistan. However, it’s important to note that China did not openly mention official recognition of the Taliban government in its statement.
It’s important to note that a number of key Taliban figures are still under international sanctions, and the former Western-backed government, led by former President Ashraf Ghani, continues to hold Afghanistan’s seat at the UN. The Taliban have been battling initiatives to boost the nation’s economy and deal with many humanitarian catastrophe. Financial sanctions and the freezing of billions of dollars’ worth of Afghan assets by Western countries have added to these difficulties.
On the day of his arrival, Ambassador Zhao’s was greeted by uniformed troops and held meetings with high-ranking Taliban officials.
In a statement released on Wednesday, China’s embassy in Afghanistan urged the international community to continue their talks with Afghanistan and to support the development of friendly external ties as well as the establishment of an inclusive political framework and moderate policies.
It said some nations must stop applying “dual standards” in the fight against “terrorism,” return their abroad assets, and relax sanctions.
Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban in Doha, claimed that the action will further improve relations between the two nations and open the door for future cooperation in a variety of areas. China, as the world’s second-largest economy, and Taliban officials have openly expressed their desire for closer ties, particularly in the realm of trade. China’s previous ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, continued his role in 2019 when the Western-backed government was still in power and completed his tenure last month.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesperson, stated that it is customary for new ambassadors to present their credentials to the head of the country. He also noted that this gesture serves as an invitation for other countries to engage with the Taliban administration. Mujahid stressed the importance of establishing positive relations through constructive interactions, which he believes will contribute to addressing both current challenges and those that may arise in the future.
China sees an economic and strategic opportunity in the end of the US-led invasion and the Taliban’s subsequent control of Afghanistan, despite the fact that the situation there remains unstable.