‘That’s a Positive Thing’: Blinken Lauds China’s Outreach to Taliban

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 28 July recognised the Taliban* as an “important military and political force” in Afghanistan, as per an official readout by Beijing. Wang further pointed out during his meeting with the Taliban that he expected the Islamic insurgent group to play a significant role in Afghanistan’s peace process.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday welcomed talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Taliban political leadership in Tianjin, describing the meeting as a “positive thing”.

Blinken also reckoned that no power, be it US, China, Russia, India, or Central Asian countries, favoured a “military takeover” of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

“… No one has an interest in Afghanistan falling into an enduring civil war… Everyone has an interest in a peaceful resolution of the conflict and some kind of government that emerges that’s truly representative and inclusive”, stated Blinken.

America’s top diplomat was on a day-long visit to India, during which he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

While Blinken was holding his engagements in Delhi, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Taliban announced, in separate statements, that the two sides had held consultations on the same day.

The nine-member Taliban delegation, led by head of the political committee Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, told their Chinese hosts that they won’t allow Afghanistan’s…

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