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White House: Relations With the Taliban Are Up to Each Country to Decide

John Kirby of the National Security Council responded to a question about how the U.S. sees the growing partnership between Communist China and Afghanistan under the Taliban regime
Leo Timm
Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: April 11, 2023
Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby speaks as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre listens during a daily news briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 6, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications with the National Security Council, said on April 6 that while the United States does not recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, relations between the fundamentalist Islamic regime and other states were their own business.

Kirby, whose organization advises the U.S. President on national security, military, and foreign policy matters, responded to a question posed by The Epoch Times at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

“Every country’s got to take their own view of how they’re going to relate to the Taliban,” Kirby said, adding that “We don’t recognize them as an official government in Afghanistan.”

The reporter had inquired as to the Biden administration’s approach to Sino-Afghan relations, which have been deepening since the Taliban overthrew the central Asian country’s U.S.-backed government in July 2021.

In particular, Afghanistan is believed to have more than US$1 trillion worth of mineral resources, mostly lithium, which is essential for making batteries.

No country — including China — currently recognizes the legitimacy of the Taliban government and its Islamic Emirate. However, the Chinese Communist Party has sent delegations to the Taliban and made supportive gestures after it took over Afghanistan.

Kirby talked about the conditions the Taliban would have to make to be recognized by the U.S: “If they want to be recognized, at least by the United States, if they want to be seen as legitimate, then they need to own up to the promises they made about how they were going to govern that country and how they were going to treat their own people, including women and girls.”