China delivers US$37 million in aid to Afghanistan, fulfilling promise to Taliban

·3-min read

Beijing has donated 250 million yuan (US$37.4 million) of aid to Afghanistan, fulfilling a promise it made to the new Taliban government last year, according to the Chinese embassy in Kabul.

Chinese ambassador Wang Yu made the announcement on Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Ghulam Ghaws Naseri, acting minister of state for disaster management and humanitarian affairs for Taliban-led Afghanistan.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that the last charter plane carrying Chinese aid would fly to Afghanistan on Thursday, and all supplies promised by China would be delivered.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

“China has become one of the countries providing the largest, most substantial and fastest assistance to Afghanistan in disaster relief,” Zhao said.

China vows quake aid for Afghanistan while seeking action on terrorism

China has yet to formally recognise the Taliban, which seized power last year after the United States and its allies abruptly withdrew troops following 20 years of war, but is keen on partnering with the regime in trade and investment.

After the Taliban announced a new government last September, Beijing pledged to help Afghanistan – which shares a remote border with China – rebuild its economy and society and fight terrorist groups and the illegal drug trade.

Wang said that after the change in government, China had announced it would provide 200 million yuan in emergency humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and supplies had been entirely handed over to the country since the first delivery in September.

China pledged another 50 million yuan in emergency humanitarian aid to the country after a strong earthquake struck southeastern Afghanistan last month, killing more than 1,000 people, injuring nearly 2,000 and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

Afghanistan was hit by its deadliest earthquake in two decades on June 22. Photo: Xinhua
Afghanistan was hit by its deadliest earthquake in two decades on June 22. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese Y-20 military transport planes were deployed to deliver 105 tonnes of goods to the Afghan capital Kabul.

Wang said China’s assistance to Afghanistan was the “best manifestation” of a friendship between the two countries that dates back to ancient times.

Wang said China wished Afghanistan would soon achieve stability and social development and was keen to carry out friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

Naseri said the food and humanitarian supplies had been distributed to 34 provinces after arriving in Kabul, bringing timely and effective help to the people of Afghanistan.

China had been critical of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and called on the country to lift unilateral sanctions and unfreeze Afghan assets. Western countries have frozen more than US$9 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank – most of it held in the US – since the Taliban took power. Although some aid has been restored, the country has plunged into a severe economic crisis.

In the wake of the worst earthquake in more than 20 years, the Afghan Taliban government called on the international community to lift sanctions and lift the freeze on central bank assets.

More from South China Morning Post:

This article China delivers US$37 million in aid to Afghanistan, fulfilling promise to Taliban first appeared on South China Morning Post

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2022.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting