China: ‘Impulsive and Irrational’ to Judge Taliban on Women’s Rights

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Gauging the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers based on their women’s rights policy is “impulsive and irrational,” Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times, argued in an op-ed published Monday. “Some people in China now use human rights issues, such as women’s rights, as the primary standard to decide if they will like the new regime in Afghanistan,” Hu wrote. “Such a focus of attention is a common perspective in modern society, and it does have its own intrinsic and realistic logic,” he acknowledged. “But it is impulsive and irrational to decide whether to develop relations with the new regime in Afghanistan on the basis of that standard alone.” “[T]he practical effect of judging the Taliban from an ethical perspective and asking China to disdain [the] Taliban diplomatically is to cater to Washington’s policy in Afghanistan and to benefit the US,” Hu claimed. “China will surely work to insert a positive influence on the Afghan administration. However, we cannot take the US’ national interests as a starting point. We do not dance to Washington’s drumbeat,” he asserted. The Global Times — which is owned by the People’s Daily, an official Chinese Communist Party newspaper — published a separate article on August 23 supporting Hu’s opinion piece. “In some Chinese observers’ eyes, it is unrealistic to expect the Taliban to be modernized and secular in all aspects immediately, as individual rights can only improve after economic development is realized and sustained, and then the modernization and secularism will follow gradually,” the newspaper argued.


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