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China accepts credentials of Taliban-appointed Ambassador

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New Delhi, Feb 3

Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 30 formally accepted the credentials of the Taliban-appointed Ambassador, becoming the first head of state to do so, a media report said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin clarified that the move does not mean Beijing officially recognises the Taliban government, RFE/RL reported.

“Diplomatic recognition of the Afghan government will come naturally as the concerns of various parties are effectively addressed,” he said, the report said.

The Taliban, however, celebrated the move as a major diplomatic victory.

“China understands what the rest of the world needs to understand,” chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, urging other countries to expand bilateral relations with his government, RFE/RL reported.

China’s move is a boost to the Taliban-led government, which has not been recognised by any country since the extremist group seized power in 2021.

Beijing’s expanding diplomatic ties with the Taliban government could prompt other countries in the region, including Iran and Russia, to follow suit, RFE/RL reported.

Ibraheem Bahiss, an Afghanistan expert at the International Crisis Group, said Beijing’s decision suggested that the Taliban is making headway in its strategy to gain official recognition from regional countries.

Countries in the region are growing “more and more skeptical about the Western consensus that the Taliban should stay confined to pariah status on the world stage”, he wrote, RFE/RL reported.

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