China to maintain communications with new Taliban government

China to maintain communications with new Taliban government
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China's government on Wednesday said it will maintain communication with the new Afghan government run by the Taliban, Reuters reported.

“China’s position on the Afghan issue is consistent and clear. We always respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, adhere to non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs, and support the Afghan people in independently choosing a development path suited to the country's conditions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a daily media briefing on Wednesday

“We hope Afghanistan will establish a broadly based and inclusive political structure, follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, resolutely combat all types of terrorist forces, and live on friendly terms with other countries, especially its neighbors,” he said.

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The Taliban announced that Mullah Hasan Akhund, a former associate of the group’s founder, would lead Afghanistan's new government, and that Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the U.S. terrorism list, would be the country's new interior minister.

The U.S. withdrew troops from Afghanistan in August, and the U.S.-backed government in the country fell before all U.S. troops had even left. 

The withdrawal of the U.S. has created new opportunities for both China and Russia.  

China said last month it was ready to pursue “friendly and cooperative” relations with the Taliban after the militant group took control of Afghanistan for the first time in 20 years.