China’s new foreign minister urges the Taliban to protect Chinese citizens

Speaking to the Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi last Saturday, the newly appointed Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang appealed to the group to protect its citizens working in Afghanistan.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the Chinese foreign minister called on the Taliban to form “a broad and inclusive political structure.”

“As the Chinese New Year approaches, China attaches great importance to the safety of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects in Afghanistan,” and that “We hope that the Afghan side will take strong measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions in Afghanistan.” Qin Gang is reported to have said to Amir Khan Muttaqi.

The Taliban foreign minister, according to the Chinese foreign ministry, committed that “no forces are allowed to use Afghanistan’s territory to engage in activities that undermine Afghanistan’s friendship with China or harm China’s interests.”

With expanding economic investments, China has had a close relationship with the Taliban. The two sides signed a $540 million oil extraction deal from northern Afghanistan on 5 January.

China urged it nationals to leave Afghanistan after an attack on a hotel which housed Chinese workers in Kabul on 12 December last year.