China Demands America ‘Stop Making Excuses’ and Fund the Taliban

FILE - Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan Presid
AP Photo/Zabi Karimi, File

China’s top diplomat on Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, repeated the Communist Party’s demands this week for America to end sanctions and allow Taliban terrorists to access frozen Afghan government funds.

The United Nations convened a meeting in Doha, Qatar, once the host of the Taliban’s “political office” during the Afghan war, to discuss how other states should appropriately engage with the Taliban. The meeting featured representatives of multiple U.N. member states, but Taliban terrorists themselves refused to participate, demanding the United Nations recognize them as the legitimate government of Afghanistan before engaging. As a result, the meeting did not result in any agreement or visible progress regarding the U.N.’s relationship with the country.

The Taliban has been in charge of Afghanistan since President Joe Biden’s disastrous decision to extend the 20-year Afghan War beyond May 2021 resulted in the largely bloodless Taliban conquest of Kabul, the national capital, in August 2021.

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U.S.-backed former President Ashraf Ghani fled the capital immediately upon the arrival of Taliban leaders, completing the rapid collapse of the nation’s American-funded military and its political infrastructure.

Taliban take to the streets during a national holiday celebrating the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover on August 15, 2022, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The country is beset by economic and humanitarian crises. Western governments have frozen billions of dollars in Afghan assets as they press the Taliban to honor unmet promises on security, governance, and human rights. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images).

Deep into the third year of Taliban rule in the country, some fellow rogue governments have recognized the Taliban – formally, the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” – as the “interim government” of the country. Only China, however, has welcomed a Taliban ambassador to its capital in an official capacity. Chinese officials have also openly praised the Taliban for “promoting national peace reconstruction and independent development.”

The Taliban has enthusiastically embraced cooperation with Communist China despite its ongoing genocide of Muslims across the Afghan border, joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in October and signing deals to enhance oil, mining, and other industry collaboration. Among the reported contact between the Taliban and Chinese companies is a meeting the Taliban announced in October between its “Ministry of the Interior” in Afghanistan and the telecommunications giant Huawei, which advertises itself as being at the forefront of authoritarian surveillance technology.

As a major recipient of Taliban business, the Chinese Communist Party has been one of the most vocal supporters of granting the jihadists access to Afghan government funds, which America froze following the fall of Kabul. Beijing, through its state media outlets, has also demanded the United States invest lavishly in the post-war reconstruction of Afghanistan, which would amount to funding the Taliban.

While seizing control of the presidential palace and other key facilities in Kabul, the Taliban have yet to access billions in Afghan government funds frozen in foreign banks. Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have also refused to offer loans to the Taliban as it is not the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” spokesman Gerry Rice said days after the ascent of the Taliban in August 2021. “There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs [Special Drawing Rights] or other IMF resources.”

During an interview with the Chinese state newspaper Global Times on Tuesday, in the context of the failed U.N. summit, China’s special envoy on Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, repeated the Party’s demands that America fund the Taliban.

“Hopefully the US will stop making excuses and start facing the real problems that are facing Afghanistan,” Yue huffed in the interview, disparaging the United States for establishing a humanitarian fund in Afghanistan worth $3.5 billion, claiming the sum “has so far played little role in helping the country.” In contrast, the Global Times claimed that China has “done abundant work” to help the Taliban, using an “11-point paper” written by the Chinese government as its example.

The frozen money Yue referred to is believed to be worth about $7 billion. That money is frozen in response to the illegitimacy of the Taliban government, which U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested would remain its status for the foreseeable future.

Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

“On one hand, Afghanistan remains with a government that is not recognized internationally and in many aspects not integrated in the global institutions and global economy,” Guterres said in Doha, explaining that the Taliban were invited to the summit on Afghanistan but did not attend after the United Nations rejected its demands.

“These conditions first of all denied us the right to talk to other representatives of the Afghan society and demanded a treatment that would, I would say, to a large extent be similar to recognition,” Guterres explained.

The top spokesman for the Taliban terrorist organization, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Afghanistan’s Tolo News on Wednesday that the Taliban was hoping to engage with the United Nations in similar meetings in the future but would only do so if it respected the terrorists’ alleged conditions.

“If the Islamic Emirate’s requests are accepted and are considered important, we will undoubtedly participate in meetings in the future,” Mujahid insisted.

The Taliban declared the Qatar summit a failure, however, as the only entity with political power in Afghanistan was not present. Only the Qatari government – which has carved a unique position in geopolitics by taking both sides of several regional conflicts – appeared to consider the summit worth its time, declaring itself “proud” to have hosted the event.

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