China ready for 'friendly' relations with Afghanistan after Taliban takes control

China ready for 'friendly' relations with Afghanistan after Taliban takes control
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China on Monday said it is ready to pursue "friendly and cooperative" relations with the Taliban after the insurgent group took control of Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul and brought about the fall of the country's government.

France24 reports China has sought to maintain unofficial ties with the Taliban as the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan. China and Afghanistan share 47 miles of border.

"The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China's participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Monday.

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"We welcome this. China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop... friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan," Hua added.

The foreign ministry spokesperson called on the insurgent military group to "ensure a smooth transition" of power and stick to its word of creating an "open and inclusive Islamic government."

Hua told reporters that China's embassy in Afghanistan remains operation, France24 reports. The embassy told Chinese citizens on Monday to "pay close attention to the security situation" and stay indoors.

Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with a delegation of Taliban officials in the Chinese city of Tianjin. During these talks Wang reportedly affirmed China's policy of noninterference in Afghan affairs.

Following his meeting with the Taliban, Wang took aim at the U.S. and NATO forces withdrawal, saying the move “reveals the failure of America’s policies and offers the Afghan people an important opportunity to stabilize and develop their own country.”

Apart from sharing a geographical border, China's also concerned about possible spillover across the border. The communist government reportedly also has concerns about the region potentially becoming a staging area for Uyghur Muslim separatist.

China also has deals for oil, gas and copper mining in Afghanistan, though these deals have remained dormant for several years.