China on Monday renewed its calls for the international community to engage with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s de facto rulers, one year after the group’s takeover of Kabul. The Taliban’s seizure of power after almost 20 years took the world by surprise and led to a chaotic withdrawal of US-led troops from Afghanistan.
China’s UN envoy Zhang Jun told reporters in New York that it was important to engage with the new administration to give them guidance and confidence so that they can move forward. While China has not recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, it has diplomatic ties with the group. “Those who have withdrawn should also exercise their responsibilities. They cannot simply say they left and forget everything,” Zhang said. He also called for the release of Afghan funds, which remain frozen in the US, from the country’s central bank as soon as possible.