China Says It’s ‘Willing’ to Work With the US on Afghanistan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call on Monday that China is “willing” to work with the US on Afghanistan.

“China is willing to communicate and dialogue with the US to push for a soft landing of the Afghanistan problem, preventing new civil war or humanitarian disaster in the country, to avoid it from [becoming] a breeding ground and shelter for terrorism, and encouraging Afghanistan to set up an inclusive political framework in line with the Afghanistan situation,” Wang said in the call, according to China’s Xinhua.

The Chinese diplomat said Washington and Beijing could work together on more issues but called for the US to ease up the pressure on China. “The US should not on one hand deliberately contain and suppress China and harm its legitimate interests, meanwhile counting on China for support and cooperation. Such logic never exists in international exchange,” he said.

Wang also took a shot at the US trying to forcibly install a government in Afghanistan. He said what has unfolded in the country “once again proved that it would only lead to failure to apply a foreign model mechanically to a country with a different history, culture and situation.”

The State Department offered little detail on the call. Xinhua said that Blinken reiterated to Wang that the US is opposed to “all kinds of terrorism” and that it does “not seek turbulence at the border region in China’s west region.”

China wants the Taliban to cut ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Uyghur Muslim group that Beijing accuses of being behind terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. ETIM was designated by the US as a terror organization until the Trump administration removed the group from the list last year. The Trump administration said there was no “credible evidence” that the group still existed. Although in 2018, the US carried out airstrikes in Afghanistan that a US military official said targeted ETIM.

China has signaled that it is willing to recognize a Taliban government in Afghanistan and has left its embassy in Kabul open. Russia has done the same, and Wang spoke with his Russian counterpart on Monday, and the two diplomats agreed to step up cooperation on Afghanistan.

President Biden defended his Afghanistan withdrawal in part by arguing that Russia and China would like to see the US sink more resources into the war. “And our true strategic competitors — China and Russia — would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.