China has a plan ready for Taliban if Kabul fails, report claims

More than 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 administrative centres have been seized by the Taliban

NEW DELHIChina is willing to recognise the Taliban as Afghanistan’s rightful authority if the insurgents succeed in overthrowing the elected government in Kabul, according to a report published by US News.

According to the American magazine citing intelligence sources acquainted with the Chinese assessments, new Chinese military and intelligence evaluations of the present situation in Afghanistan have pushed them to prepare to formalise their connections with the insurgent group.

Taliban gaining control, getting stronger

In May, the Taliban launched an assault, capturing important areas.

According to Long War Journal, more than 160 districts have fallen, in addition to an estimated 73 districts previously controlled by the insurgents. According to the report, the group already has complete control of eight of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

The Taliban have claimed control of more than 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 administrative centres.

China has many stakes in Afghanistan

Beijing has both an opportunity and a problem as a result of the abrupt departure of American soldiers from Afghanistan. The first is due to China’s ability to partially fill a power vacuum left by the West, and the second is due to the Taliban’s historical links to militant groups.

The recent US military departure from Afghanistan after a 20-year presence cleared the door for the insurgent group to gain control of large swaths of the country, posing a danger to the Kabul administration. Despite their developing friendship, Beijing is concerned about the group’s links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which poses a domestic security threat.

According to a Chinese foreign ministry statement, China told the visiting Taliban group last month that the ETIM is a direct danger to its national security and territorial integrity, and that combatting the ETIM is a shared duty for the international community.

On Wednesday, August 11, in Tianjin, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed this message to Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Afghan Taliban Political Commission.

In its readout, China hoped the Afghan Taliban will cut ties with all ‘terrorist’ organisations, including the ETIM, and fight them resolutely and effectively to remove obstacles, play a positive role, and create enabling conditions for regional security, stability, development, and cooperation.

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