‘China hopes Taliban will make clean break with terrorist outfits including ETIM’

 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered this message during a meeting with the Head of the Afghan Taliban Political Commission Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday in Tianjin.

Beijing: China has conveyed to the visiting Taliban delegation that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) poses a direct threat to its national security and territorial integrity and combating the ETIM is a common responsibility for the international community, a Chinese foreign ministry readout said.

 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered this message during a meeting with the Head of the Afghan Taliban Political Commission Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday in Tianjin.

 “We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organizations including the ETIM and resolutely and effectively combat them to remove obstacles, play a positive role and create enabling conditions for security, stability, development and cooperation in the region,” the Chinese readout said.

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China is worried about the instability to come in the country, a revival of the ETIM, its cross-border agitation and terrorism in the Xinjiang region.

 The ETIM, also known as the Turkistan Islamic Movement, is an ethnic Uyghur group active in Afghanistan that has long sought to achieve independence for Xinjiang, which it envisions as a future “East Turkestan.”

 During the meeting with the Taliban leaders, Wang Yi pointed out that the Afghan Taliban is an important military and political force in Afghanistan and is expected to play an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.

 “We hope that the Afghan Taliban will put the interests of the country and nation first, hold high the banner of peace talks, set the goal of peace, build a positive image and pursue an inclusive policy.”

Meanwhile, Baradar assured Beijing that the Afghan Taliban will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts detrimental to China.

This meeting comes at a time when the US military is barely weeks away from completion. Beijing has been closely watching the progress of US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and sought to play a bigger role in the country.

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