China to resume visa issuance to Afghans, exempt Afghan imports from tax

Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the measures when he met Afghanistan's Taliban-appointed foreign affairs chief in Uzbekistan on Thursday, according to a statement on the ministry website.

Taliban members are seen at the Taliban flag-raising ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022.  (photo credit:  REUTERS/ALI KHARA)
Taliban members are seen at the Taliban flag-raising ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ALI KHARA)

China will resume issuing visas to Afghans from August 1 and allow 98% of Afghan imports to enter tax-free, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the measures when he met Afghanistan's Taliban-appointed foreign affairs chief in Uzbekistan on Thursday, according to a statement on the ministry website.

Wang also told acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi that China supports extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor into Afghanistan, the statement said.

He also reiterated a call for the West to stop imposing sanctions against Afghanistan.

Background

 A person holds a bundle of Afghan afghani banknotes at a money exchange market, following banks and markets reopening after the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 4, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER) A person holds a bundle of Afghan afghani banknotes at a money exchange market, following banks and markets reopening after the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 4, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

Afghanistan's economy had gone into freefall after the Taliban takeover, with the central bank's foreign-held reserves frozen, Washington and other donors halting aid and the United States ending deliveries of hard currency.

China has not yet formally recognized the Taliban government.