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China appoints ambassador to Afghanistan

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KABUL – In a historic move, China has officially appointed its first full-time Ambassador to Afghanistan, making it the first country to establish diplomatic representation since the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021. Local sources have confirmed this significant development, underlining China’s commitment to engage with Afghanistan.

The newly appointed Ambassador wasted no time in presenting his diplomatic credentials to the Taliban’s Prime Minister, Mullah Hassan Akhud, marking the beginning of formal diplomatic relations between the two nations.

This development comes in the wake of China’s strategic plans for business investments and the expansion of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China has expressed its intent to extend the BRI into Afghanistan, potentially leading to the construction of vital infrastructure such as railways and bridges.

One of China’s primary concerns in Afghanistan is the presence of separatist groups that oppose Chinese control in its northwestern region of Xinjiang. The country is actively working to address this issue while simultaneously seeking to bolster its economic ties with Afghanistan.

CNN-News18 previously reported exclusive insights into Chinese visits to Kabul and high-level meetings with Afghan leadership. Additionally, the news outlet revealed China’s interest in gaining the support of the governor of Badakshan, a move seen as an effort to control the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a separatist militant group in Xinjiang. The Chinese government is reportedly willing to offer a substantial deal to the governor, signaling its determination to manage the ETIM issue.

ETIM is known to have alleged links with radical organizations such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), making it a significant concern for Chinese authorities.

Recent reports have also suggested that Chinese tech giant Huawei has secured approvals from the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan to install CCTV cameras across various provinces. This development has raised concerns about China’s potential efforts to profile Afghan citizens, potentially strengthening its influence in the country.

China’s appointment of a full-time Ambassador to Afghanistan is a significant step that highlights its growing interest and involvement in the region. This move could have far-reaching implications for Afghanistan’s future and its relations with neighboring countries.

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