China’s Involvement in Afghanistan Could be ‘Positive,’ U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken Says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said on Thursday that China’s increasing interest in Afghanistan could be “a positive thing.”

Blinken said he would welcome China’s involvement if it was looking towards a “peaceful resolution of the conflict” and a “truly representative and inclusive” government.

Blinken’s comments came after Taliban representatives visited China on Wednesday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted nine Taliban officials led by the group’s chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin

Yi called the Taliban a “pivotal force” in Afghanistan and promised that China would support a bigger role for the group in reconstructing the country.

A Taliban spokesperson tweeted that China had “reiterated its commitment of continuation of their assistance with Afghans and said they will not interfere in Afghanistan’s issues but will help to solve the problems and restoration of peace in the country.”

Violence has increased in Afghanistan with the Taliban taking control of large territories of the country after the US withdrew its troops ahead of a September deadline.

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