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Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold talks in Tianjin on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua via AP

China repeats warning to citizens to leave Afghanistan days after welcoming Taliban for talks

  • The foreign ministry tells Chinese nationals to leave as soon as possible citing the deteriorating security situation
  • China and the Taliban have been working to strengthen ties, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcoming the group’s co-founder this week
China’s foreign ministry on Friday repeated a warning that its citizens should leave Afghanistan, citing the deteriorating situation.

A notice published on the official WeChat account of the department of consular affairs urged Chinese citizens to evacuate as soon as possible, adding that they have to bear the responsibility on their own if they do not.

“Currently, the security situation in Afghanistan has further deteriorated … If Chinese citizens insist on staying in Afghanistan, they will face extremely high security risks, and all the consequences will be borne by themselves,” the notice said.

This was the second warning issued this month. On July 7, the department told Chinese citizens to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible and said it would provide the necessary assistance.


China pledges to support Taliban role in restoring peace in Afghanistan after US withdrawal

China pledges to support Taliban role in restoring peace in Afghanistan after US withdrawal

“Infected and asymptomatic [Covid-19] patients were detected among the recent returnees back to China, and relevant personnel were placed under strict quarantine or given treatment,” the notice said.

“For individual Chinese citizens who voluntarily stay in Afghanistan, the Chinese embassy has help those in need of vaccinations and will continue to provide the necessary assistance.”

The situation in Afghanistan quickly deteriorated following US President Joe Biden’s announcement in April that US troops would leave by the end of next month, ending a 20-year military presence and leaving a power vacuum.
In recent months, the Taliban has escalated its offensive, taking rural districts and surrounding provincial capitals, with the US responding by increasing the number of air strikes. Civilian casualties rose as the fighting escalated.

Pakistani Taliban may be behind attack that killed 9 Chinese, analysts say

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing would support the Taliban playing a role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, but demanded that it cut ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – blamed by Beijing for terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. Wang emphasised that the fate of the country should be “in the hands of the Afghan people”.

It was the first time a senior member of the organisation had visited China since the Taliban’s capture of several key districts in Badakhshan and Kandahar provinces.


Thousands of Afghans flee as UN warns of 'unprecedented' civilian deaths from Taliban offensives

Thousands of Afghans flee as UN warns of 'unprecedented' civilian deaths from Taliban offensives
Beijing has invested heavily in Central Asia in recent years through its Belt and Road Initiative, and discussed the possibility of extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key part of the scheme, into Afghanistan.

In June 2012, China-Afghanistan relations were elevated from a comprehensive cooperative partnership to a “strategic and cooperative partnership”, confirming cooperation in politics, the economy, humanities, security, and international and regional affairs.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: China tells citizens for a second time to leave Afghanistan