China Foreign Minister Wang Yi makes surprise visit to meet Taliban in Afghanistan

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi makes surprise visit to meet Taliban in Afghanistan

Beijing has remained tightlipped about the details of Wang’s ongoing tour, and China’s official media has released statements and reports only after his meetings with the Pakistani leadership were over

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, March 24, 2022, 12:43 PM IST
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In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pose for a photo during their meeting in Tianjin, China, Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | AP

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Kabul on Thursday, a Taliban official said, a week before Beijing hosts a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors to see how they can help the country following the takeover by the hardline group.

“Chinese Foreign Minister arrives in Kabul for talks with Islamic Emirate leaders,” Ahmad Yasir, a top Taliban government official, said on Twitter.

Beijing has remained tightlipped about the details of Wang’s ongoing tour, and China’s official media has released statements and reports only after his meetings with the Pakistani leadership were over.

Earlier, the Foreign Minister attended the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers meetings in Islamabad, stating that China is investing US$400 billion in over 600 BRI projects across the Muslim world.

Wang’s attendance underscored China’s increasing influence among OIC countries — as well as the Islamic organization’s readiness to overlook charges of widespread attacks by Chinese authorities on the country’s minority Muslim Uyghurs.

In his speech at the conference, the Chinese foreign minister said China supports Russia and Ukraine continuing peace talks for the sake of a cease-fire, an end to the war and peace.

“We need to prevent humanitarian disasters and prevent the spillover of the Ukrainian crisis from affecting or harming the legitimate rights and interests of other regions and countries,” he said.

According to the Tolo news agency, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum had said on March 14 that a Chinese delegation will arrive in Kabul by the end of this month. “They will be physically in Kabul in March and will discuss the issue with the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum,” said Esmatullah Borhan, spokesperson of the mines ministry.

Even before the August 15 takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Beijing sought to maintain ties with the group as US-led forces withdrew.

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