China has called on the global community to lift economic and political sanctions on Afghanistan as soon as possible.

In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry said that China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the world to end various unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan. The foreign ministry said that Wang made these remarks at a virtual G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Wang said that Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves were the war-torn country’s national assets that should belong to the people of Afghanistan. He said the reserves should be used by the Afghan people. Wang said that Afghanistan’s assets should not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan.

China has emerged as a potent proponent of establishing peace and stability in the Taliban-led Afghanistan while most of the countries have adopted a wait-and-see approach to engagement with the new Taliban regime.

In recent weeks, China has expressed its willingness to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with the Taliban following their takeover in mid-August. Beijing has also expressed inclination toward maintaining communication with the leaders of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, calling its establishment a “necessary step” in reconstruction.

Earlier in August, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry Hua Chunying said, “The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.”

“We welcome this. China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop … friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan,” she added.

In response, the Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen welcomed Beijing comments regarding possible contribution toward the rebuilding of the country saying that China had played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

In an interview with the Chinese state media channel CGTN, Shaheen said, “China is a big country with a huge economy and capacity — I think they can play a very big role in the rebuilding, rehabilitation, reconstruction of Afghanistan.”

The Taliban leadership has also expressed its desire to incorporate Afghanistan in the game-changing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

China has become the latest part of the ‘Extended Troika’ that – along with Pakistan, the US, and Russia – has been working for peace in Afghanistan and the broader region.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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