China Becomes First Country to Appoint Ambassador to Taliban Leadership
China became the first country to appoint an ambassador to Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. Chinese Ambassador Zhao Xing said his country does not want to establish influence in Afghanistan.
This is the first time a country has appointed an ambassador to Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power in August 2021. Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, Prime Minister of the Taliban interim government, accepted Chinese Ambassador Zhao Xing’s letter of credence at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in the capital Kabul, Taliban Deputy Spokesperson Bilal Karimi said.
Zhao, who made statements at the ceremony, where Deputy Foreign Minister Amirhan Muttaki was also present, expressed his satisfaction for being appointed as ambassador to Afghanistan and conveyed the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Stating that China is a good neighbor of Afghanistan and respects the country’s independence and territorial integrity, Zhao emphasized that the Chinese government has no policy of interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and does not want to establish influence in the country. In the past two years, great progress has been made in cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy and security, as well as in the fight against corruption, crime and drugs, Zhao said, adding that he will try to strengthen cooperation between Afghanistan and China in other fields.
The Beginning of a New Era
Taliban leader Mullah Hassan Akhund thanked the Chinese government for the appointment of an ambassador to the country and expressed his hope that this appointment will bring diplomatic relations to a high level and mark the beginning of a new era between the two countries. Stating that he attaches importance to the relations between Afghanistan and China, Ahund pointed to the developments in the relations between the two countries in the last two years and emphasized that he hopes more steps will be taken to strengthen the relations.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the appointment was a normal appointment and aimed to promote dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. “China’s policy towards Afghanistan is clear and consistent,” the ministry said.
While the Taliban administration is not officially recognized by any country, China has not made a statement on the official recognition of the administration with the decision to appoint a new ambassador.
The term of office of former Chinese Ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu, who took office in 2019, expired last month.
While ambassadors appointed before the Taliban rule in Afghanistan continued their duties, no country had appointed an ambassador to the country after the Taliban seized power.