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China willing to develop friendly relations with Taliban: Foreign ministry

China has said that it is willing to develop friendly ties with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

“China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop… friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan,” AFP quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying.

This comes after the Taliban stormed the capital on Sunday and took control of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani was forced to step down. He fled the country later on and said that it was necessary to avoid any bloodshed.

China had hinted earlier that it’d accept a Taliban regime in Afghanistan. On July 28, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met formally in Tianjin with a nine-member Taliban delegation. The delegation also included Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban’s co-founder and deputy leader.

Wang recognised the group as “a crucial military and political force in Afghanistan that is expected to play an important role in the peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process of the country”.

Wang also told the delegation about building a positive image and having an inclusive approach.

( Originally published on Aug 16, 2021 )

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