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China expects Afghan Taliban to make clean break with ETIM

An Afghan Taliban member stands guard outside the airport in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Sept 6, 2021. (SAIFURAHMAN SAFI/XINHUA)

BEIJING – China hopes the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other terrorist groups, and take effective measures to resolutely crack down on them, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks in response to a recent interview of Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen with the Global Times, in which he said many ETIM members have left Afghanistan because the Taliban has categorically told them there is no place for anyone to use Afghan soil against other countries, including its neighboring countries.

Noting that China has repeatedly expressed its concerns to the Taliban over the ETIM, spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Taliban attaches importance to China's concerns and made solemn promises

The ETIM is an international terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council, Zhao said, adding that it poses a direct threat to China's national security and territorial integrity and affects regional security and stability.

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"Afghanistan and the rest of the international community share the responsibility to firmly reject, curb, crack down on and eradicate the ETIM," Zhao said.

Noting that China has repeatedly expressed its concerns to the Taliban over the ETIM, Zhao said the Taliban attaches importance to China's concerns and made solemn promises.

"We hope they will honor their words, make a clean break with the ETIM and other terrorist groups, take effective measures to resolutely crack down on these terrorist organizations, and strengthen coordination and cooperation with neighboring countries to forestall spillover effects and prevent Afganistan from becoming a hotbed, harbor or source of terrorist forces," he added. 

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