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Taliban conducts spectacular welcome ceremony for China’s new ambassador to Afghanistan

The Taliban has accepted and celebrated Zhao Sheng as the new ambassador from China to Afghanistan. The welcome took place at a fancy event at the presidential palace in Kabul on Wednesday.

China is one of a few countries, like Pakistan, Iran, and Russia, that have stayed in Afghanistan with diplomats after the Taliban gained power in 2021.

During a palace ceremony, the Prime Minister of the Taliban, Mohammad Hasan Akhund, shook hands with Zhao and “accepted the proof of the new Chinese Ambassador,” according to the official Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s office.

“The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate thanked China for appointing Mr. Zhao Sheng as ambassador. He hopes that this appointment will improve the relationship between the two countries and mark the start of a new chapter,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid stated.

According to the prime minister’s office, Zhao said that China is a friendly neighbor to Afghanistan and completely respects Afghanistan’s freedom, borders, and ability to make decisions on their own.

Zhao also stated that China doesn’t interfere in Afghanistan’s internal matters and it doesn’t want Afghanistan to become under its control.

The leader of the Taliban said that the relationship between the two countries has been good. He also expressed his hope for making the relationship even stronger. This information was shared by Mujahid.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the ambassador appointment in Afghanistan is a regular practice and is meant to keep improving communication and cooperation between China and Afghanistan.

The government of China has stated that their approach to Afghanistan remains the same and is easy to understand.

China, which is close to Afghanistan and has invested a lot in the area, was careful about the possible security problems caused by the sudden return of the Taliban after the US left the country in August 2021.

After that, Chinese officials have said it is important to work together with Afghanistan and nearby countries on things like fighting terrorism, working together on economic projects, and making sure the region is stable and developing.

In May, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan promised to make their relationship in security and counterterrorism stronger. They discussed this at a meeting in Islamabad with their foreign ministers.

At the meeting, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that China values its friendship with Afghanistan and Pakistan a lot.

The three groups agreed to work together on China’s Belt and Road trade and infrastructure program, which involves a lot of China’s money invested in the area.

They also agreed to make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) longer by including Afghanistan. This move is meant to improve connectivity, boost cross-border trading, and strengthen the economic integration of the three countries in order to achieve sustainable development.

CPEC is a big project called the Belt and Road that costs $60 billion. It connects a region in China called Xinjiang to an important port in Pakistan called Gwadar. They are connected by roads, railways, pipelines, and power plants.

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