China has entered talks with the Taliban as tensions mount over the future of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US military from the country.
A Taliban delegation visited China this week and held talks on Wednesday to discuss the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the role the Taliban will play.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the nine representatives of the Taliban in the northern city of Tianjin, during which he said the Taliban should “play an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan,” according to Reuters.
One of the main concerns expressed by China was about the Islamic Movement in East Turkestan, which Wang called a “direct threat to China’s national security.”
Former State Department official and United Nations adviser on Afghanistan Barnett R. Rubin believes the meeting in China was not a show of support for the Taliban but for a peaceful end to the war.
“This is an effort to use China’s influence to persuade the Taliban not to seek military victory but to seriously negotiate for an inclusive political settlement,” he told The New York Times.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China’s interest in Afghanistan could be “positive” as it helps boost regional interest in stability.
BLINKEN WARNS AFGHANISTAN COULD BECOME A ‘PARIA STATE’ IF PEACE IS NOT MADE WITH THE TALIBAN
“Afghanistan’s neighboring countries have an interest in the region … but no one has an interest in the region falling into a persistent civil war or into the hands of the Taliban,” he told a TV channel. Indian news, according to The Guardian. “If China and other countries are working on this interest, then that’s a positive thing.”
U.S. support for Chinese interests in Afghanistan may stem from the increasingly likely collapse of the Afghan government and the potential for a full-blown civil war in the country.
The Taliban have gained “momentum” with their attacks as the US military continues to withdraw its troops from the country – a move that several military leaders and politicians on both sides have criticized.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN ON THE RISE IN AFGHANISTAN: UNITED STATES
Former President Trump presented a plan to withdraw troops by May, but President Biden postponed that deadline until September 11 after taking office in 2021. The Pentagon said Thursday that the withdrawal is 95% complete and will be finished by August 31st.
However, Afghanistan struggled in the absence of US military support. The Ministry of Defense withdrew its forces from seven districts from July 5 to concentrate defensive efforts around some of the most critical capital provinces.
These efforts seem to have failed, the Taliban forces would have taken 19 districts “without a fight”, according to Ata Mohammad Noor, an Afghan warlord and key United States ally.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The Taliban claimed on July 9 that it controls at least 85% of the territory of the country. They also captured several border crossings with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, opening up potential revenue for the terrorist group and cutting off key transportation routes.
You Can Read Also