As soon as the US announced the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, Beijing knew it would be dealing with a resurgent Taliban. Since then it has walked a tightrope, neither criticising it completely nor embracing it.
China keenly understands the risks of dipping its toes in Afghanistan’s internal politics after the withdrawal, which is expected to finish by 31 August. It is also aware of the ripple effects that Afghanistan’s government, the Taliban and Pakistan can create across the region.
This may be why China is exercising caution. Earlier this month, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said the Taliban should “make a clean break with all terrorist forces and return to Afghanistan’s political mainstream” at a press conference in Dushanbe with the Tajik foreign minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin.
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