Beijing refuses to answer question on Taliban’s invitation to Afghan government inauguration
- The official stance of Beijing in regards to a Taliban government centres around preventing cross-border terrorism in its western Xinjiang region from anti-Beijing East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants
The Chinese foreign minister refused to answer media questions on the Taliban extending an invitation to China, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Qatar to the inauguration of the new government in Kabul. The spokesperson for the country’s foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, told reporters that he has “no information to offer at this moment”.
China has kept its embassy in Kabul open, joining the leagues of countries like Russia. Media reports suggest that Beijing is awaiting the formation of a Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. "We always respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, follow the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs and adhere to the friendly policy for all the Afghan people," Wenbin told reporters in late August.
“China also stands ready to continue to develop good-neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation with Afghanistan and play a constructive role in Afghanistan's peace and reconstruction," he added.
The official stance of Beijing in regards to a Taliban government is centred around preventing cross-border terrorism in its western Xinjiang region from anti-Beijing East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants, who, China fears, could seek sanctuary within Afghanistan.
“China's primary concern now is for the Taliban to ... build an inclusive and moderate regime so that terrorism would not spill over to Xinjiang and the region. Any other calculus further to that remains to be seen," the foreign ministry told Reuters in August.
To assuage China’s apprehensions Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had assured Beijing that EITM militants will not be allowed to carry out operations on Afghan soil. Ghani who was on an official visit to China in July told Chinese state media that Beijing has always been a “reliable friend” and “the Afghan Taliban will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts detrimental to China.”