Chinese FM says economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end

Published September 23, 2021
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (pictured) says Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves should not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure. — AP/File
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (pictured) says Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves should not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure. — AP/File

China's State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the various unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan should be lifted as soon as possible.

Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement, citing Wang at a virtual G20 foreign ministers' meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves are national assets that should belong to the country's people and be used by its own people, and not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan, he said.

While most of the countries have adopted a wait-and-see approach to engagement with the Taliban, China has said it is ready to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with the Taliban following their takeover. It has also expressed willingness to maintain communication with the leaders of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, calling its establishment a "necessary step" in reconstruction.

Last month, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, had said, "The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China's participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan."

“We welcome this. 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,” she had added.

That followed Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen saying China had played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and was welcome to contribute to the rebuilding of the country.

"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 had told CGTN television in an interview.

Moreover, a Taliban spokesperson was quoted by the media as saying that they wanted to have Afghanistan incorporated in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

China, along with Pakistan, the US and Russia, is a member of the ‘Extended Troika’ that has been working for peace in Afghanistan.

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