China’s mounting relations with Taliban: future prospects

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 - 23:45

China was one of the first states that showed a willingness to have diplomatic ties with the Taliban when they took over Kabul, it was a realistic move, but the cordial ties between states seem tricky. The U.S supported the Afghan government for the last twenty years. It has spent more than 83 billion on the Afghan military but in vain. The Afghan military meltdown and the fall of Kabul were shocking. At the same time, the International state actors have hasty to respond to the Taliban when they swept to power in the Afghan Capital. China was one of the first states that voiced willingness to make friendly and diplomatic ties with the Taliban. Still, it seems the future gains of China under the Taliban regime. China was observing the reinforcement of the Taliban that they were strengthening its position politically and military in Afghanistan; it was imminent that Kabul would fall into the hands of the Taliban. 

The Chinese Foreign Minister met with the Taliban delegation at Tianjin in July. This was one of the introductory meetings following the direct dialogues between the Taliban and the U.S. in 2018. It was a green signal to the Taliban that the group is familiar as a significant political force on the international political stage. The world has come to know that the Taliban are an influential force. Taliban had visited Tehran and Moscow, but the “Foreign ministers” did not respond formally to the Taliban’s success over Kabul. China has had cordial interactions with the Taliban for the last few years, but the Tianjin meeting was most important where both the parties deliberated the upcoming developments.

China has vast objectives in Afghanistan, which are economic, strategic, and security. As expressed, if peace and stability sustain in Afghanistan, Beijing will achieve its goals. Afghanistan possesses more than $1 trillion untapped mineral resources, it is willing to reach Afghan resources.

Beijing has promised 31 million dollars assistance to the Afghan Taliban, including coronavirus vaccines and food supplies. All these collaborating activities show that China is all set to sustain cordial communications with the Taliban regime. It has already given positive indications to the Taliban for good diplomatic ties. As a veto power, Beijing would be the first state to recognize the Taliban regime. China is not assisting Afghanistan for free, but it has immense interests in the county. In today’s circumstances, peaceful Afghanistan is in Beijing’s interests because it cannot achieve its objective in a war zone. The formation of the new interim government was a very crucial phase towards governance and order. Still, there is a long way off for the Taliban regime to be recognized by the U.S. and westerns.

China’s core security interests in the wider Central Asia-Pakistan-Afghanistan area have come to center on averting any back for terrorist’s militancy and amplified mobilization of the Chinese Uighur community and Islamization in China. Although most Uighur Muslims are in-resort under ruthless mass detentions and forced cultural reinstruction of the Uighur community, China is trying to work on its mind to prevent unlawful activities against the Chinese government.

Indisputably, political recognition from China is quite compelling to the Taliban founding governments. Taliban are in need to back economically by China. Beijing would facilitate Afghanistan economically because of securing its objectives on Afghan soil.  However, China does not intend to be involved in Afghanistan through hard power. She would not send troops to Afghan soil; instead of hard power, she will utilize soft power towards Afghanistan nor rush to fill the power vacuum omitted by the United States and its allies.

China has vast objectives in Afghanistan, which are economic, strategic, and security. As expressed, if peace and stability sustain in Afghanistan, Beijing will achieve its goals. Afghanistan possesses more than $1 trillion untapped mineral resources, it is willing to reach Afghan resources. According to U.S. geological surveys,; the country has more than 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 60 tons of copper reserves, 1.4 million tons of rare earth reserves coveted for their use in electronic products. Peace is imperative for China because it is desirous of extending the Belt and Road Initiative to Afghanistan via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Extending the CPEC to Afghanistan, it will be able to gain considerable mineral despots.

China is likely to endure to maximize its involvement with Afghanistan. It has a vision for greater regional integration and cordial ties with neighboring states to upsurge its economic engagement. Instability and great games will affect China’s economic development; the US utilizes India against China, it is desirous of creating instability in South-Asia to contain the economic development of China.

China has more concerns about security. Specifically, its counter-terrorism and security objectives are in Afghanistan have come to be subjected by China’s interests to counter Uighur terrorism. Furthermore, it assures security for OBOR investment in Pakistan and Central Asia, including China Pakistan Economic Corridor. China’s core security interests in the wider Central Asia-Pakistan-Afghanistan area have come to center on averting any back for terrorist’s militancy and amplified mobilization of the Chinese Uighur community and Islamization in China. Although most Uighur Muslims are in-resort under ruthless mass detentions and forced cultural reinstruction of the Uighur community, China is trying to work on its mind to prevent unlawful activities against the Chinese government.

Peace and stability will sustain in Afghanistan to shape the region’s economic development. China must have to optimize its direct financial investment projects in Afghanistan.

China has profound concentrations about East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) because ETIM is conducting terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China. It does not want ETIM that will find safe havens and supports from Afghanistan. In the 1990s, both the actors, ETIM and Taliban, had deep engagements. Beijing believes that the ETIM would launch attacks in response to the widespread detentions of Uyghurs in Xining province. The overdue foundation of China with the Taliban regime is to protect their state from terror attacks. Beijing expects she is offering economic support and political recognition to the Taliban regime; it would persuade them to safeguard its security objectives.

China is likely to endure to maximize its involvement with Afghanistan. It has a vision for greater regional integration and cordial ties with neighboring states to upsurge its economic engagement. Instability and great games will affect China’s economic development; the US utilizes India against China, it is desirous of creating instability in South-Asia to contain the economic development of China. In today’s circumstances, China has resisted the new cold war against the US skillfully.

Indeed, peace and stability will sustain in Afghanistan to shape the region’s economic development. China must have to optimize its direct financial investment projects in Afghanistan. It is probably to intensify its support with the Taliban regime with careful diplomacy to stop Afghanistan from being used as a battleground and prevent any association in the region. The power vacuum in Afghanistan will fulfill by the Chinese low politics and soft power strategies for the persistence of regional integration. The country will prevent Military intervention and rigid policies towards Afghanistan.

Source: The Radical outlook