LIVE from the Taliban: China is welcomed as a “major partner” as the horrific alliance to combat the West expands.
TALIBAN officials have declared China to be their most important friend, calling it their “principal partner” in the international community.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, said Beijing was “willing to invest in and rebuild” Afghanistan, giving the strongest indication of the group’s diplomatic ambitions to far.
Despite criticism from western countries, Mr Mujahid said the Chinese will revitalize Afghan copper mining and lauded the One Belt One Road project.
This follows Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s declaration that the UK would not “recognize the Taliban in the foreseeable future.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeated the message, saying that if the Taliban wanted to engage with the West, “safe passage for people who want to leave” should be their first concern.
Following conversations with Qatari politicians, Mr Raab intimated that Kabul airport could open “in the near future.”
“China is our primary partner, and it provides a fundamental and unique potential for us because it is willing to invest in and rebuild our country,” Mr Mujahid told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“Aside from that, we have rich copper mines that, due to the Chinese, may be reopened and modernized. China serves as our passport to the rest of the world’s markets.”
In the aftermath of the Taliban takeover, China is one of the few countries that has not withdrawn workers from its embassy in Kabul.