The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29 to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America's longest war. "The Afghanistan issue is complex and difficult to solve," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said when asked about China’s stand on the deepening conflict in Afghanistan between Afghan government and Taliban amid the US-led negotiations to restore peace in the country.
“Internal and external factors must work in concert towards the same direction, otherwise it will be counterproductive”, Zhao said. “The US is the biggest external factor in the Afghan issue. It should withdraw its troops in an orderly and responsible manner to prevent further escalation of violence in Afghanistan and create a favourable external environment for intra-Afghan negotiations, not the other way around," he said. China which shares a border with Afghanistan through the narrow Wakhan corridor besides Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is closely monitoring the evolving situation in Afghanistan amid its own concerns over the situation in Xinjiang, where it is battling the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement, (ETIM). Beijing is averse to ETIM, an al-Qaeda backed militant group regrouping in Afghanistan to carry out attacks in Xinjiang.
China is also trying to work out a reconciliation between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the Afghan government’s allegation of Islamabad’s support to the Taliban through tripartite talks. Trump early this month announced on Twitter that he wants to bring all US troops home from Afghanistan by Christmas.
The announcement came as a surprise as it puts the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban in jeopardy amid stepped violence by Taliban militants.