China’s Foreign Minister Visits Kabul To Meet Taliban Government
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, fresh from meetings in Islamabad as a guest of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has met with senior Taliban officials in Kabul in a surprise visit. During his meetings at the OIC, Wang said that China was investing US$400 billion in Muslim countries, while he discussed relations with the Taliban and security issues concerning Afghanistan during that trip. Events discussed at the OIC have clearly promoted an immediate visit to Kabul.
It is understood that Wang met with acting Afghan foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi to discuss political and economic ties, including starting work in the mining sector and Afghanistan’s future role in China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, according to a statement from the Afghan foreign ministry.
Foreign governments, including Beijing, have held back on formally recognising the Taliban administration, with many saying the Taliban need to prove their commitment to human rights, counter-terrorism and inclusive governance. China is among just a handful of countries, including Pakistan and Qatar, that has sent a minister to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the country in August.
China will host a meeting of regional foreign ministers later this month, and the statement said Muttaqi would also participate in the meeting.
“Minister Muttaqi added that the security brought about by the new (government) lays the foundation for foreign investment, including for China, in Afghanistan that ensures their interest besides cooperating with Afghans in economic growth & stability with the full support of the new gov,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said.
Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said Russia’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, also visited Kabul on Thursday (March 24) and met with Muttaqi to discuss political and economic ties.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists British and Foreign Investment into Asia and has 28 offices throughout China, India, the ASEAN nations and Russia. For strategic and business intelligence concerning China’s Belt & Road Initiative please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.dezshira.com