China welcomes announcement of new Taliban government

The Asians have formalised their support for the Taliban by sending $31 million in humanitarian aid


The Taliban's new interim government in Afghanistan has put an end to "three weeks of anarchy", according to Beijing. China welcomes the formation of the new government with Mullah Hassan Mohammad Akhund as prime minister and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his most trusted confidant. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference in Kabul that they know that "the people of their country have been waiting for a new government". And they do not seem to be the only ones. China has been quick to welcome the Taliban executive's announcement and has already called on them to restore order and stability throughout the country.nuevo-gobierno-taliban

Chinese support for the Taliban is more than just words. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China will donate $31 million worth of grain and vaccines to Afghanistan. He also warned of the presence of terrorist groups in the region, something that Beijing has always feared and possibly its greatest fear in forging closer ties with the Taliban. According to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, the foreign minister held a telematic meeting with his counterparts from Afghanistan's neighbours, chaired by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

"China attaches great importance to the Taliban's announcement of the establishment of an interim government and some important personnel arrangements," Wang Yi said of the new Taliban government. He believes that "it is a necessary step to restore order and rebuild the country". Despite the Taliban's promises of an inclusive government, the reality is what one might expect: a government without women and composed of hardliners in key positions. Even so, Beijing is prepared to engage formally with the new interim government, while the West awaits developments in Afghanistan. 

ministro-china-wang-yiWith the Belt and Road project on the horizon, China sees a golden opportunity to establish itself as a strong ally of a country with a privileged geopolitical situation, just as the Chinese are a great alternative for Afghanistan. Thanks to them, they would be able to obtain valuable economic support, especially in a situation of poverty such as the one the country is currently experiencing under Taliban control. The more than $30 million in humanitarian aid that Beijing will provide to the Afghans is an example of this.

If there is one thing the Chinese government never tires of repeating, it is that it expects the Taliban to "pursue moderate and consistent internal and external policies, resolutely suppress all kinds of terrorist forces, and get along with all countries, especially neighbouring countries". China is understandably concerned about the possibility of Afghanistan becoming a haven for the more radical Uighurs, an ethnic group with which it is strongly at loggerheads.

Years ago, members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) orchestrated some of the worst attacks in the Asian giant. And it is precisely they who would pose a major threat to Chinese interests if they were able to take refuge in the Wakhan Corridor. Nevertheless, maintaining China's investments in Afghanistan is one of President Xi Jinping's priorities, despite the fact that extremist forces in the region, especially in Pakistan, have welcomed the Taliban's rise to power.

In the US, it is clear that a full agreement between China and the Taliban is only a matter of time. US President Joe Biden said that "China has a real problem with the Taliban, so I'm sure they're going to try to come to some kind of agreement," in remarks from the White House. After passing through New Jersey and New York to monitor the consequences of Hurricane Ida, the president also referred to the other potential allies of the new Afghan government, such as Pakistan, Iran and Russia, who he said "are trying to decide what to do now".