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Beijing Firms Up its Close Engagement with Afghan Taliban Government

On October 25th and 26th, during his visit to the Qatari capital of Doha, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with a delegation of the interim Afghan Taliban government. It was the first high-level engagement since the militant group took power in Kabul two months ago. On Monday (the 25th), Wang Yi met with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the acting deputy prime minister of the Afghan interim government. After their Tianjin meeting, it was their second meeting  in three months.

In an article titled, “At this Critical Time, the Taliban Made a Promise to China with Ten Words,” which was in the leading online news media Net Ease, the Chinese media highly touted Wang Yi’s meeting with Baradar. In the news photo showing Wangyi and Baradar greeting each other with an elbow, the caption described, “The news photo is interesting. Wang Yi in a suit and leather shoes stretched out his left elbow, and the Taliban leader Baradar in fluttering robes stretched out his right elbow. Baradar, a bearded man smiled, and Wang Yi, who was wearing a mask, smiled too. …”

The article began with the statement, “On October 25th, we met in Qatar. It was almost 3 months since the last meeting in Tianjin.”

Then it added cheerfully, “Three months ago, the Taliban only occupied half of the country. Baradar led a delegation to visit China. It was also the first public visit to China by the leadership of the Taliban, which attracted worldwide attention.

“Three months later, the Taliban had become the masters of all of Afghanistan and Baradar also served as the acting deputy prime minister of the interim government. He and Wang Yi met again.”

The article then highlighted the meeting with Baradar’s message.
It said, “According to the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the second meeting, the Taliban made a clear promise.

“Please note this passage from Baradar:

“Baradar emphasized that China is an important neighboring country of Afghanistan and he is grateful for the respect and friendliness shown by China during these difficult times in Afghanistan. Pursuing a policy of friendship with China is Atta’s firm choice (Atta Muhammad Nur, a main political power in Afghanistan) and hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields. Atta attaches great importance to China’s security concerns and will resolutely fulfill its commitments, and will never allow anyone or any force to use Afghanistan’s territory to do things that endanger China.”

The Article repeated Baradar’s message with the following statement:

“The meaning is also very clear:

1. We thank China for its respect and friendship to Afghanistan during the difficult period in Afghanistan.

2. The Afghan Taliban have always pursued friendship with China and hope to strengthen cooperation in various fields.

3. Regarding China’s security concerns, (Baradar promises) that the Taliban will resolutely fulfill their commitments and deliver what they have promised.”

The article was republished by a number of other top online media such as Sina, Sohu, etc.

Source: Net Ease, October 27, 2021