The Taliban welcomed a new Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan with a grand credentialing ceremony in Kabul, as the globally outcast government attempts to break loose from diplomatic isolation.
(Bloomberg) — The Taliban welcomed a new Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan with a grand credentialing ceremony in Kabul, as the globally outcast government attempts to break loose from diplomatic isolation.
Zhao Sheng was the first ambassador to present his letter of credence to Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan at Kabul’s presidential palace, the latest sign that neighboring China is looking to pave the way for formal recognition of the ex-insurgent group’s administration.
The diplomat was greeted by a guard of honor at the ceremony on Wednesday and said he would work to strengthen relations with Afghanistan in “political, economic and other fields,” according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed. Hassan also called relations between the two countries “important,” and spoke of mutual “cooperation” since US forces withdrew from the country, Mujahed wrote on the social media platform X.
Since taking power in 2021, the Taliban government has yet to gain recognition from any country and has been condemned by many for human rights violations and banning women from education.
Nevertheless, the Taliban inked its first international business contract earlier this year with a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation to extract oil from the northern Amu Darya basin. The agreement may boost government coffers in the absence of international funding, which had accounted for more than 60% of spending by the US-backed government.
Read more: India Offers Taliban Officials a Course in Economics, Leadership
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.