Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi officially confirmed that he had visited Kabul on Thursday morning.
Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mutaki of Afghanistan welcomed Yi Sun-sin, who arrived in Kabul with a high-level delegation.
The visit comes a week before Beijing hosts a two-day March 30-31 meeting with its Afghan neighbors on how to support the Taliban government. Pakistan and Iran have held similar meetings earlier with their neighbors after the Taliban took over.
During the full-day visit, Prime Minister Lee held separate talks with Acting Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and FM Mutaki, officials said.
‘Afghan territory will not be used by any country’
According to Deputy Afghan government spokesman Inamura Saghani, Baradar had assured Chinese foreign ministers that Afghan territory would not be used by any country.
China has expressed concern over the existence of members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which the United Nations recognized as a terrorist organization in the past.
Samangani said the two sides discussed expanding Afghanistan-China relations in several areas, including trade, transportation and the economy.
In this regard, Samangani quotes Baradar as saying that Afghanistan and China have a historical and friendly relationship and that the two countries have stood together in difficult times.
“So it is very important for us to strengthen and expand our relationship,” Baradar said.
According to Samangani, Baradar told China’s foreign minister that Afghanistan is working to expand relations with all countries, especially China.
“We appreciate China’s humanitarian assistance,” Baradar added.
“China’s policy is not to interfere in Afghanistan”
According to a statement from Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Kahar Balki, Yi met with Amir Khan Mutaki, Afghan Foreign Minister, separately.
The two foreign ministers exchanged views on political, economic, transit and aviation corridors, the statement said. Important issues were also discussed.
Prime Minister Yi Sun-sin called the visit to Afghanistan a step towards strengthening comprehensive relations and said that Afghanistan’s China should be further strengthened and expanded.
Yi told Muttaqi that China had adopted a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and opposed the imposition of political and economic sanctions on the war-torn country.
He praised the changes and security measures taken by the new Afghan government and highlighted the humanitarian, development and other aid provided to Afghanistan, the statement said.
Prime Minister Lee also added that he emphasized the importance of the upcoming meeting of foreign ministers of neighboring Afghanistan and expressed his pleasure that Minister Mutachi was willing to attend the meeting.
Muttaqi said the Chinese foreign minister’s visit to Afghanistan delivered a “positive message” to Afghanistan and the world and expressed her gratitude for China’s support and support.
He also expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the recent plane crash in China.
Afghanistan’s foreign minister told China’s foreign ministry that the new Taliban government has taken steps to ensure national security and that this “existing security” will pave the way for foreign investment, including from China.
He also raised the possibility of China working with Afghanistan for economic growth and stability, which Muttaqi said the government would fully support.
“We promise [pursuing] Sincere cooperation with the People’s Republic of China and ensuring peace and security in Afghanistan mean regional peace and stability,” he said, emphasizing that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used by any other country.
Prime Minister Yi’s visit is the first visit by a high-ranking Chinese leader since the Taliban took over Kabul in August. It was done right after completion of special guest.
FM Yi’s last visit to Kabul was in June 2017, when a heavy truck bombing killed and injured many people. He worked to ease tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan after relations were weakened by the shootings in May 2017.
A visit by the Chinese foreign minister could give diplomatic vitality to the Taliban government, which is not yet recognized by any other country.
China has been involved in the Afghan peace process since the US withdrew most of its troops in 2014. Political representatives of the Taliban have made several visits to China over the past few years.
Meeting with the Russian delegation
The statement quoted Muttaqi as saying that Russia has taken advantage of the opportunities created by the new Afghan government and has expanded support for several development projects.
“Muttaqi said the new government is focused on regional security and connectivity and wants Afghanistan, the heart of Asia, to play an important role in strengthening the region’s transport, trade, industry and economy.”
The two sides evaluated the talks positively and expressed their hopes for a speedy and lasting series of substantive cooperation, the statement added.