China appoints new ambassador to Afghanistan, marking a historic move amid Taliban rule
Kabul, September 14: In a significant diplomatic development, a new Chinese ambassador has officially presented his credentials to the Prime Minister of the Taliban-controlled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kabul. This marks the first appointment of a foreign envoy at the ambassadorial level since the Taliban assumed power in 2021.
It is important to note that the Taliban government has not received official recognition from any foreign government to date. The implications of this ambassadorial appointment by China regarding formal recognition of the Taliban remain uncertain, and China's foreign ministry has not issued an immediate response to requests for comment.
In a statement, Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesman for the Taliban administration, announced, "Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, accepted the credentials of Mr. Zhao Xing, the new Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, during a ceremony."
This marks a significant milestone since the last foreign envoy's appointment occurred in August 2021, coinciding with the Taliban's assumption of power as foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan.
China's previous ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, commenced his role in 2019 and concluded his tenure just last month. Notably, other nations and international delegations, including Pakistan and the European Union, have dispatched senior diplomats to lead diplomatic missions in Kabul. However, these diplomats have been granted the title of 'chargé d'affaires,' indicating their responsibility for ambassadorial duties without formally holding the ambassadorial role. Some ambassadors appointed during the previous foreign-backed Afghan government have also remained in Kabul with similar titles.
The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15, 2021, following the disintegration of Afghan security forces, which had been established with extensive Western support. This transition in power led to the departure of US-backed President Ashraf Ghani from the country.
- With inputs from agencies