The Latest: China urges that Afghan funds abroad be unfrozen via @Yahoo
BEIJING — China says it is maintaining contact between its embassy in Afghanistan and the Taliban and is calling for Afghan government funds held abroad to be unfrozen.
China has yet to say whether it will recognize the Taliban government, but has been actively courting its top officials, hosting a delegation led by its political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in July, shortly before the group swept to power amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the mass exodus of Afghans fearing a return of the Taliban’s hard-line Islamic rule.
China has also been sharply critical of the nature of the pullout, and, while wary of the rise of radicalism on its western border, has been generally supportive of the group seen as defeating its strategic rival, the United States.
Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government but the exclusion of other political factions and women has made it unlikely that they will win broad international support or international recognition as the legitimate leaders of Afghanistan.
Without such recognition, the Taliban will be unable to tap billions of its funds frozen abroad, almost all of it contributed by the U.S. and other foreign donors.
“The U.S. should face up to Afghanistan’s justified and reasonable appeals, abandon imposition of sanctions and pressure and not hinder Afghanistan’s economy, livelihood and peaceful reconstruction,” Zhao said.