China pledges $30 million aid to Afghanistan
While the West has treated the Taliban government warily, China has made cautious overtures to a potentially dangerous neighbour that Beijing is eager to influence.
In addition to welcoming the newly announced acting cabinet, China this week pledged to give $30 million in food and other aid to the new government in Afghanistan, as well as three million coronavirus vaccine doses.
Speaking on Wednesday at a meeting of officials from Afghanistan’s neighbours, Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, blamed the US for the situation in the troubled country. But in a sign of China’s competing priorities, he also urged the Taliban to contain terrorist groups and asked Afghanistan’s neighbours to share intelligence and tighten border controls. The meeting included officials from Iran, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
While China has held back from full recognition of the Taliban government, it has cautiously begun a charm offensive. In July, weeks before the fall of the Afghan government, China played host to a delegation from the Taliban, including the chief of the group’s political office. The meeting led the Taliban to call China “a good friend”.
New York Times News Service