China can contribute to Afghan development: Taliban spokesman

Published August 20, 2021
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen leaves after a news conference in Moscow, Russia on July 9. — Reuters/File
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen leaves after a news conference in Moscow, Russia on July 9. — Reuters/File

China has played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and is welcome to contribute to the rebuilding of the country, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Chinese state media.

The Taliban seized control over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety. Many fear a return to the group's strict interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.

In dealing with the Taliban, an increasingly powerful China may be able to leverage the fact that unlike Russia and the United States, it has not fought in Afghanistan.

"China is a big country with a huge economy and capacity — I think they can play a very big role in the rebuilding, rehabilitation, reconstruction of Afghanistan," Shaheen told CGTN television in an interview late on Thursday.

During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's meeting with a Taliban delegation in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin last month, he said he hoped Afghanistan could adopt a moderate Islamist policy.

China has cited religious extremism as a destabilising force in its western Xinjiang region and has long worried that Taliban-controlled territory would be used to harbour separatist forces.

Opinion

Editorial

Updated 21 May, 2022

Band-aid measure

A more pronounced impact would have been possible had the cap on energy prices been removed.
21 May, 2022

Bilawal’s defence

BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari’s robust defence at the UN headquarters of former prime minister Imran Khan’s Feb 24 trip...
21 May, 2022

Yasin Malik’s conviction

THE conviction of veteran Kashmiri freedom fighter and head of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik by an...
Updated 20 May, 2022

TTP peace talks

ANOTHER attempt to sue for peace with the outlawed TTP is being made, again facilitated by the Afghan Taliban that...
20 May, 2022

Beyond the law

THE senior judiciary should take care not to overreach in its zeal to ‘fix’ issues it ideally need not worry...
20 May, 2022

Political musical chairs

YET another political crisis is brewing in Balochistan, where old rivals Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Sardar Yar...