Days after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call Sunday that the international community should engage with new Taliban rulers and “positively guide” them.
According to a Reuters report, Wang told Blinken that Washington should work with the international community to provide these new rulers economic and humanitarian aid. Also, the international community should help the Taliban rulers run the governmental functions normally, maintain social stability, stop the currency from depreciating, and stop the cost of living from rising.
During the call, Wang also talked about the “hasty withdrawal” of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He said that it could allow terrorist groups to regroup and come back stronger. Hence, the United States “should take concrete action to help Afghanistan fight terrorism and stop violence, rather than playing double standards or fighting terrorism selectively” while respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan.
A Chinese state TV said that the Sunday call was made because Washington invited Wang. State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said that the call was made so Blinken and Wang could speak about the “importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals.”
This is not the first time Wang and Blinken talked over the phone. Last August 16, Wang was open with Blinken about the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and noted it was hasty and would have a serious negative impact. However, Wang promised that they would work with Washington to promote stability in the country.
Chinese state media added to this, saying that Washington could not expect China’s cooperation if the country will continue to “contain and suppress China and harm China’s legitimate rights and interests.” The statements came after U.S. President Joe Biden released the intelligence report he ordered earlier this year. The report says that there is confidence that the COVID-19 virus originated from a Wuhan lab leak.