Beijing [China], August 13 (ANI): China is prepared to recognise the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan if the terrorist group manages to overpower the democratically elected government in Kabul, US News has learned.
New Chinese military and intelligence assessments of the current situation in Afghanistan have prompted them to prepare to formalize their ties with the terrorist group, according to the American publication citing intelligence sources familiar with the Chinese assessments.
The Taliban began its offensive in May and began seizing key districts. More than 160 districts have fallen, in addition to an estimated 73 districts that were controlled by the Taliban beforehand, Long War Journal reported. The terrorist group now controls eight of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in their entirety, it added. The Taliban have claimed the seizure of more than 10 out of 34 administrative centers of Afghan provinces.
The sudden withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan presents Beijing with both opportunity and challenge. The first is because China can partially fill a power vacuum vacated by the West, and the second because the Taliban is an organization with historical ties to Islamic terrorist groups.
The recent US military withdrawal after a 20-year presence in Afghanistan has paved the way for the Taliban to seize control of vast swathes of Afghanistan and it now threatens the Kabul government. Despite the growing relationship, Beijing has shown apprehension about the group’s ties with East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is a domestic security concern.
China had conveyed to the visiting Taliban delegation last month that the ETIM poses a direct threat to its national security and territorial integrity and combating the ETIM is a common responsibility for the international community, a Chinese foreign ministry readout had said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered this message during a meeting with the Head of the Afghan Taliban Political Commission Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday in Tianjin.
“We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organizations including the ETIM and resolutely and effectively combat them to remove obstacles, play a positive role and create enabling conditions for security, stability, development and cooperation in the region,” the Chinese readout said. (ANI)