Taliban Hails ‘Great Neighbor’ China, Renews Promise Not to Let Terrorists Base in Afghanistan

Chinese entrepreneurs and managers of state-owned enterprises recently told Chinese media that while investment opportunities in Afghanistan are ample, the danger of violence and of US sanctions has made them leery of pursuing them so far.

The Taliban* has renewed its pledge to fight terrorism in Afghanistan as it continues to court promises of Chinese infrastructure investment in a new interview with Chinese media.

“We are ready to exchange views with China on how to forge ahead in terms of boosting our mutual relations, establishing peace in the region, and its assistance in the reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told the South China Morning Post on Monday.

At a Tianjin meeting in July, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Taliban leader and co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar that the group must “deal resolutely” with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Xinjiang-based terrorist group the Taliban has given refuge to in the past. He added earlier this month that the Taliban “needs to completely cut off from all terrorist forces with a clear attitude and take measures to combat international terrorist organisations classified by the UN Security Council.”

Suhail reiterated the group’s pledge on Monday, saying that the Taliban had “given a clear message to all that no one can use the soil of Afghanistan against neighbouring and other countries.” The group has given similar pledges to the US and Pakistan,…

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