By Jennifer Ugwueke
Taliban officials have declared China as their closest ally in the international community.
The militants say Beijing is “ready to invest in and reconstruct” Afghanistan and describe the nation as their “principal partner”.
Zabihulla Mujahid, the spokesman for the group, stated the Chinese would help to revive Afghan copper mining. He also praised the Chinese for their One Belt One Road investment project which has forged forward despite criticism from western countries.
China is one of the few countries which did not evacuate staff from their Kabul embassy in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.
It was also been reported that a Taliban delegation visited China in July for talks with the foreign minister Wang Yi, in Tianjin.
Mr. Mujahid told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “China is our principal partner and for us represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity because it’s ready to invest in and reconstruct our country.
“We hold in high regard the One Belt One Road project that will serve to revive the ancient Silk Road.
“Beyond that, we have rich copper mines which thanks to the Chinese can be brought back into production and modernised.
“China represents our passport towards the markets of the whole world.”
His comments come after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab declared that Britain won’t be “recognising the Taliban at any time in the foreseeable future.”
But he said there was a need for “direct engagement” with the group, to ensure UK nationals and Afghan allies could leave Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated the message, adding that if the Taliban wanted to engage with the West then “the first priority for them for us is safe passage for those who want to leave”.
Raab also said that evacuation flights from Afghanistan could resume “in the near future” after talks with leaders in Qatar.