China’s Xi: SCO states should help drive smooth Afghan transition

Chinese president says Shanghai Cooperation Organisation should guide Afghanistan to develop an inclusive political structure.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Xi has promised to provide more help to war-torn Afghanistan [File: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

China’s President Xi Jinping says the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should help drive a smooth transition in Afghanistan, according to Chinese state media.

SCO member states should guide Afghanistan to develop an inclusive political structure and follow moderate internal and external policies, Xi said.

Xi was addressing a meeting of the heads of state of the SCO in Tajikistan via video link.

The SCO comprises eight members: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan is an observer state in the group.

China shares a land border with Afghanistan, where the Taliban named a new government this month. The group retook control in August as United States-led foreign forces ended their 20-year presence there.

Xi urged “relevant parties” in  Afghanistan to eradicate “terrorism” and promised to provide more help to the war-torn nation, state news agency Xinhua said.

Afghanistan should be guided to be more open and inclusive, and pursue moderate domestic and foreign policies, Xi said, according to the agency.

“Certain countries” should assume their due responsibilities for Afghanistan’s future development as “instigators” of the situation, Xi added, in an apparent reference to the US and its allies.

Experts say Afghanistan’s economy is in crisis and a humanitarian disaster looms. Western nations have been reluctant to provide funds to the Taliban without assurances that it will uphold human rights, especially those of women.

China, which has pledged aid and COVID-19 vaccine doses to Afghanistan, has said the US and its allies have a duty to supply the war-torn nation with economic and humanitarian aid.

China is also known to be worried about Uighurs from its far western region of Xinjiang, some of whom are reported to be based in Afghanistan.

Source: News Agencies