Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on Wednesday met with a delegation of high-level Taliban officials as ties between them warm ahead of the US pullout from Afghanistan.
A photograph posted on the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site showed Wang posing with senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his delegation in Tianjin, China, then sitting down to talks.
The highly conspicuous show of friendliness had the appearance of a diplomatic mission at a time when the Taliban are craving legitimacy.
China respects Afghan sovereign independence and territorial integrity, and always adheres to non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, Wang said.
The hasty withdrawal of the US and NATO “reveals the failure of America’s policies and offers the Afghan people an important opportunity to stabilize and develop their own country,” he said.
While no agenda was announced for the meeting, China has an interest in pushing the Taliban to deliver on peace talks or at least reduce the level of violence as they gobble up territory from Afghan government forces.
China and Afghanistan share a narrow border high in the remote Wakhan Valley, and China has long been concerned about a possible spillover of Islamic militancy into its formerly volatile Xinjiang region.
China has also signed deals for oil, gas and copper mining in Afghanistan, although those have long been dormant.
“The Taliban are a pivotal military and political force in Afghanistan, and are expected to play an important role in the process of peace, reconciliation and reconstruction,” Wang said.
China hopes that the Taliban would put the nation’s and the people’s interests first, and focus on peace talks, set peace goals, establish a “positive image,” and work for unity among all factions and ethnic groups, he said.
Wang also said China hopes that the Taliban would “deal resolutely” with the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a group that China claims is leading a push for independence in Xinjiang, but which many experts doubt even exists in any operational form.
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
TRADE MISSION: After Fijian elections in December last year, pro-democratic parties formed a coalition and overruled a name change imposed by the former government The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji has been restored to its former name, the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Fiji on Friday last week issued a note verbale to the office saying that the name change was retroactively effective from March 15, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Wallace Chow (周民淦) told a news conference in Taipei. The mission’s diplomatic privileges have been reinstated as stipulated in Fiji’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act, which was enacted in 1971, Chow said. Taiwan set up a trade
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy. “This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “Aside from paying respects to
‘INDISPENSABLE ROLE’: Despite stopovers in the US, Tsai said the aim of her trip is to ‘demonstrate determination to deepen exchanges’ with the allies of the nation President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon left Taiwan on a 10-day trip to Central America that includes stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. “Through this visit, I will express my gratitude to diplomatic partners for their support of Taiwan,” Tsai said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport shortly before boarding the plane. The trip to Guatemala and Belize — her first overseas journey since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping around the world in early 2020 — aims to “demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to deepen exchanges” with its Central American allies, she said. Tsai said that she and her delegation would also explore the possibility