BEIJING: As the leaders of the G7 countries are set to meet on Tuesday to discuss the Afghan crisis and possible economic sanctions against the Taliban, China expressed reservations over imposing penalties, saying the US and its allies should learn lessons from the past and act prudently.
The Group of Seven leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are due to hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation arising after Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and coordinate international response to the crisis.
Ahead of the meeting, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will chair the emergency G7 virtual meet to coordinate international response to the Afghan crisis, said the Taliban will be judged by its deeds rather than words.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.
Downing Street said on Monday that during the meeting on Tuesday, Johnson will call on G7 leaders to continue to stand by the Afghan people and step up support for refugees and humanitarian aid.
He is expected to urge international partners to match the UK’s commitments on aid and the resettlement of those most in need in order to protect human rights and contribute to the stability of the region.
Asked for his reaction on G7 leaders’ plan to impose new sanctions on the Taliban, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that imposing sanctions and applying pressure will not solve problems.
Afghanistan is an independent sovereign country. The US and its allies should learn from the past experience, and deeply reflect upon and act prudently on Afghanistan-related issues,” Wang said.
The international community should encourage and work for the positive developments of the Afghan situation, support peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and assist the nation to improve people’s livelihood and enhance its ability to achieve self-development, he said.
Wantonly slapping sanctions and exerting pressure solves no problem and will only be counterproductive,” he said.
“China holds that while promoting steady transition of Afghan situation and reconstruction, it is necessary for the international community to consider how to prevent such acts as military intervention in other countries under the pretext of democracy from happening again,” he said.
We should not allow the repeat of a tragedy where a certain country made mistakes but the Afghan people and the international community and especially regional countries paid the price,” he said, in an apparent reference to the US intervention in Afghanistan 20 years back and its hasty withdrawal of troops.
On Monday, Wang hinted at China stepping up financial assistance to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, saying it will play a positive role in helping the war-ravaged country amid global pushback to stop funding to Kabul until the Afghan militant group modified its hardline religious policies.
Asked for his reaction to comments by Afghanistan’s exiled central bank chief stating that Taliban may go to China and Pakistan to replace the US for financial assistance, Wang while criticising the US actions in Afghanistan said, China always pursues a friendly policy toward the entire Afghan people.
For a long time, China has provided much assistance in economic and social development in Afghanistan. China stands ready to continue to play an active role in promoting peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and helping the nation to enhance the ability to achieve self-development and improve people’s livelihood,” he said.