China and the Taliban Move to a Marriage of Convenience: Experts

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After the Taliban took over Kabul on Aug. 15, both the Chinese regime and the Taliban have said that they look forward to friendship with each other. The Chinese however have come short of recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate rulers, whereas the Taliban have said that China can contribute to Afghanistan’s development.

While reports continue to come of Taliban conducting door-to-door searches and killing people including journalists and women, the Taliban spokesperson has been giving interviews offering amnesty, women’s rights, and media freedom. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in a press conference on Aug. 19 seemed to support the Taliban narrative, saying that the “Afghan Taliban will not repeat the history of the past and now they are more clear-eyed and rational.”

A source has confirmed for The Epoch Times that the Taliban since its takeover has been conducting door-to-door searches for intellectuals and journalists.

Days before the Taliban took over the capital, an Epoch Times Kabul-based source said, on condition of anonymity, that in the month of June alone, 51 targeted killings by “unknown men” were reported around the country.

The Taliban hasn’t been taking credit for most of the targeted killings, which are of civilians, since the U.S.–Taliban peace deal was signed in February 2020. The deal limits the kind of attacks the terrorists can conduct, and the Taliban strategy of not taking credit for the assassinations is linked to the peace-talk diplomacy, according to a report in January by Gandhara.

In any case, reports of Taliban violence have not deterred the prospects for China working with the Taliban. Experts said the Chinese have intensified contact with the Taliban after Aug. 15 and preparations are in full swing for a marriage of convenience.

“It’s providing international support to the Taliban and possibly intelligence and logistics support against the United States. By doing so it wants to further humiliate the United States and contribute to its decline in the region,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, Professor in Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

“In the short term, China is likely to provide all support to the Taliban to overrun Afghanistan and form a stable government,” he said. China is in touch with the Taliban through its own military links but also through Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), he said.

On Aug. 18, China’s Foreign Ministry stated it had not yet officially recognized the Taliban as ruling Afghanistan, and that recognition would come after a government is formed.

By Venus Upadhayaya

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