Chinese FM says Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end

BEIJING (Reuters): China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the various unilateral sanctions or restrictions on Afghanistan should be lifted as soon as possible.

Economic sanctions on Afghanistan must end, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement, citing Wang at virtual G20 foreign ministers meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves are national assets that should belong to the country’s people and be used by its own people, and not be used as a bargaining chip to exert political pressure on Afghanistan, he said.

Last month, China had said it is willing to develop “friendly relations” with the Taliban after they seized control of Afghanistan.

“China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop… friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over after they took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday after US-led forces departed and Western nations scrambled to evacuate their citizens.