US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was certain China and some other countries in the region would try to work out an arrangement with the Taliban.
Asked if he was worried that China would fund the group, which is sanctioned under US law, Biden told reporters, “China has a real problem with the Taliban. So, they’re going to try to work out some arrangement with the Taliban, I’m sure. As does Pakistan, as does Russia, as does Iran. They’re all trying to figure out what do they do now.”
Iran has adopted a cautious policy, not criticizing the Taliban and not supporting the opposition, which has been fighting in the Panjshir valley.
The US and its Group of Seven allies have agreed to coordinate their response to the Taliban, and Washington has blocked the Taliban’s access to Afghanistan’s reserves to ensure they live up to their pledges to respect women’s rights and international law.
But experts say much of that economic leverage will be lost if China, Russia or other countries provide funds to the Taliban.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call on Aug. 29 that the international community should engage with the Taliban and “positively guide” them.
China has not officially recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new rulers, but Wang in July hosted Mullah Baradar, who has since been appointed as deputy prime minister, and has said the world should guide and support the country as it transitions to a new government instead of putting more pressure on it.