China is supplying the Taliban with contemporary weapons in response to the Islamic State Khorasan Province’s (ISKP) recent attack on a hotel in Kabul that primarily housed Chinese nationals. The action is being taken at a time when China’s interests are threatened by Afghanistan’s instability and potential to be a barrier to the Belt and Road Initiative’s success (BRI).
Beijing: According to Zafar Iqbal Yousafzai, author of The Troubled Triangle: US-Pakistan Relations under the Taliban‘s Shadow in The Jamestown Foundation, China is supplying the Taliban with contemporary weapons in response to the Islamic State Khorasan Province’s (ISKP) recent attack on a hotel in Kabul that primarily housed Chinese nationals, ANI reported.
In addition, according to Chinese officials cited by Global Times, turbulence and uncertainty could cause Afghanistan to turn into a haven for terrorists. IT wrote, “targeting China’s Xinjiang and its interests overseas, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, where enhanced communication and coordination between China and Pakistan is required to tackle potential threats.”
ISKP fighters attacked a local hotel in Kabul on December 12 while several Chinese people were staying there. Five Chinese nationals were hurt in the attack, along with 18 other victims, and the three perpetrators were slain by security personnel.
The hotel, which is frequently frequented by Chinese diplomats and entrepreneurs, is reportedly owned and operated by Chinese businesspeople, according to Global Times.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), said in response that China is greatly outraged by the attack, which is extremely atrocious, and vehemently opposes terrorism in all its forms.
According to Yousafzai, China has attempted to give the Taliban enough assistance to battle all types of terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan in reaction to these difficulties. China has recently increased its support for and involvement with the Taliban as a result of a number of issues.
The US presence in Afghanistan was also seen by China as a strategic danger. The Jamestown Foundation claimed that as a result, the US exit and the Taliban’s ascent to power—with whom Beijing has deep ties—were generally viewed as positive geopolitical developments for China.
China seeks to protect its strategic, political, economic, and security interests in Afghanistan. It is advantageous for China if there is a centralised government in Kabul that is at ease with it.
Taliban-China relations are hardly brand-new. For many years, the Taliban have visited China frequently. Beijing cooperated with the Taliban even in the 1990s in order to stop militant infiltration into western China.
Given that it links China to the Persian Gulf and Iran, Afghanistan is significant to Beijing both strategically and economically. Afghanistan is another prospective BRI route with abundant natural resources.