South Asia and Beyond

China-Taliban Relations: What Each Side Hopes To Achieve Going Forward

 China-Taliban Relations: What Each Side Hopes To Achieve Going Forward

China’s new ambassador to Afghanistan Zhao Sheng with Afghan foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul earlier this month. (Photo: Afghan foreign ministry)

As the Taliban completed two years of rule in Afghanistan, the world witnessed experts cautiously divided on the issue of Western sanctions against them. Some called for cessation of critical development aid, many argued against a dialogue with the new rulers, albeit on humanitarian support. This has dipped the Afghan economy even further, as efforts to revive an already collapsed banking system fails to gather even minimal support from international financial institutions or donor countries. Since the fall of Kabul, Afghans are experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in history, with more than half of the population under extreme poverty. But the Taliban’s two years brings some hope, at least for Beijing. With the new Chinese Ambassador in Kabul, Zhao Sheng, presenting his credentials to acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund recently, China became the first country to formally appoint a new ambassador after the Taliban’s takeover, sparking a debate on Beijing’s official recognition of the new rulers (still unclear), with many still interpreting its decision....Read More

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