China calls for lifting of sanctions on Afghanistan

Update on Afghanistan

China has called for the lifting of economic sanctions on Afghanistan and the Taliban’s entry into billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves, highlighting a deeper rift between Beijing and the West over the country’s future.

“Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves are national assets. These should be used for the people and for their people. “They must not be used as bargains to exert political pressure on Afghanistan.”

Multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank and the IMF, should be allowed to enter the country, Wang added, and “unilateral” sanctions should be lifted.

Afghanistan is facing a severe financial and humanitarian crisis after the Taliban took over the country. But Wang’s remarks reflect growing differences between the Western government and China and Russia over how the militant Islamist group will react to its return to power.

The United Kingdom on Wednesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to join a “coordinated international approach”.

“If we do not want Afghanistan to become a haven for global terrorism, the international community, including Russia and China, must work together to engage with the Taliban,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

His warning came after Putin and Xi agreed last week to discuss intelligence and regular talks on Afghanistan in a joint effort to prevent instability.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also confirmed that special envoys from China, Russia and Pakistan had visited Kabul this week to meet with members of the Taliban leadership.

The Afghan economy has relied heavily on international aid, charities and other groups for the past two decades, receiving থেকে 4 billion to 6 6 billion annually in development assistance as well as billions of dollars in U.S. military assistance. The fund has been abruptly shut down since the Taliban took over.

The foreign government recently pledged 1 1 billion in emergency relief over the next thirty months. But Afghanistan has about 9 9 billion in foreign exchange reserves that can be used for emergency spending, most of which is deposited in international accounts. The Biden administration has blocked access to US central bank reserves.

According to the World Food Program, the sudden loss of income for many families has led to widespread hunger, with only 5 percent of Afghan families eating every day. The WFP added that job losses, lack of cash and rising inflation have also pushed urban middle-class families into poverty.

“The economic instability in Afghanistan was sudden and uninterrupted,” said Mary-Ellen McGrawarty, WFP’s country director for Afghanistan.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanam Ghebrissas, who visited Kabul this week, warned that Afghanistan’s health system was “on the brink of collapse” and that the country was facing “an impending humanitarian catastrophe.”

Government hospitals have already started closing due to lack of funds to buy supplies and pay doctors.

Concerns have been raised about Beijing’s growing influence in the wake of the US withdrawal.

But Eun Sun, a Chinese foreign policy expert at the Washington-based think tank Stimson Center, said other countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the unveiled United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, would also influence Kabul.

“There are some countries that have more influence over the Taliban than China,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then [world’s] Number two is power and money. “

No international government has recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government in Afghanistan.

Additional report by Sherry Fei Xu in Beijing

Video: Highlights of an FT customer webinar in Afghanistan

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