As reported by Reuters on 13 September 2023, China has become the first country to appoint a new ambassador to take up residence in Kabul since the take-over by the Taliban regime in August 2021.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller explains: “Most countries have chosen to replace their ambassador with a ‘charge d’affaires’, which is one notch lower on the diplomatic scale, and thus have not needed to bother about how to present credentials to the host government. China has decided otherwise, and it can be safely assumed that this has been done to send a signal to other countries to follow suit. It was certainly an encouragement for the Taliban who have once more called upon the international community to finally recognize their government. Nevertheless, China’s investment in Afghanistan’s economy, especially in the commodities and resources sectors, has so far been much more cautious and modest than the Taliban rulers were hoping for and has done little to bring any economic relief for the Afghan population (AAN, 16 September 2023.”
Thomas Muller continues: “China’s diplomatic appointment can be seen as an unambiguous sign of warming ties. China has reportedly been exporting surveillance equipment to Afghanistan. A network of roughly 62,000 cameras has been installed across Kabul, the Taliban Ministry of the Interior said it hopes to expand the network nationwide within the next four years (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1 September 2023). Such measures are likely to add an additional layer of pressure on religious minorities in the country, especially those which can only survive by remaining deeply hidden.”