The aim is to outdo the U.S. geopolitically and snag some of the ‘Mullah’s Moola.’
WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 1 — You’ve got to figure that when something goes wrong in the world, China will go to great lengths to find a way to benefit. When our military-strategist-in-chief, Joe Biden, made his hasty retreat from Afghanistan, the CCP, or communist Chinese mobsters, were ready, willing, and able to make their move to get their share of the profit.
They wasted no time to take advantage of Mr. Biden’s disastrous evacuation and quickly embraced the Taliban, becoming the first and only nation on the planet, so far, to give them legitimacy by establishing diplomatic relations with the terrorists.
Some might take umbrage at the conclusion that the new rulers of Afghanistan are terrorists, given they’ve been in power for a matter of weeks. But it would appear that terrorism is in their blood. After all, suicide bombers from an offshoot organization of ISIS targeted American soldiers and Afghan refugees seeking to leave the country during the Biden withdrawal while the Taliban did nothing to protect them. And the National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] reminds us that: “In the years leading up to the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States, the Taliban provided a safe haven for al-Qa’ida. This gave al-Qa’ida a base in which it could freely recruit, train, and deploy terrorists to other countries. The Taliban held sway in Afghanistan until October 2001, when they were routed from power by the US-led campaign against al-Qa’ida.”
By recognizing terrorists as a lawful government of what is now the “outlaw state” of Afghanistan, China also hopes to gain access to minerals and big bucks. For sure, other countries will follow China’s lead given time to see how events unfold in the coming weeks and months.
Oddly enough, Afghanistan has long been a thorn in China’s side. Millions of Muslims, including 12 million Uyghurs, live in China, where they have suffered greatly, so much so that over the years, many of them would cross China’s western border seeking refuge in Afghanistan. Indeed, Afghanistan was somewhat of a safe harbor for them.
Things are changing rapidly with the Taliban takeover, however.
The BBC reports that though “the Taliban has some historic connections with Uyghur militants, the very forces China says pose a threat to its security,” it may not be safe for Muslims going forward. The “Taliban also has a history of cooperation with China, which shares a short land border with Afghanistan, and analysts say the superpower’s ability to provide technology and infrastructure – and lend legitimacy – to a new Taliban regime would likely trump any kind of solidarity with Uyghurs.”
The BBC says that the refugees are scared. Some say that they no longer feel safe, that they are in hiding and living in fear. It’s the prudent thing to do if Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has anything to say about it.
A week or so before President Biden’s ill-advised, chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, Wang met with Taliban strong-man Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and apparently gave him a heads up that China would back him, according to the Brookings Institution.
He told Baradar that “Beijing will recognize the Taliban and seek ways to encourage the Taliban to be attentive to China’s security concerns.” He went on to say that “Beijing will urge the Taliban to deny safe haven to Uyghur fighters and other groups that could destabilize Central Asia or harm Chinese interests in the region or at home.”
But there’s more to it than that; China’s greedy side sees an opportunity to cash in on its “friendly relations” with the new rulers in Kabul to the tune of some “$1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits … including “Industrial and building minerals: Iron, Lead, Tantalum, Tungsten, Copper, Lithium [and] Mercury [and] gemstones: Amethyst, Beryl, Emerald, Lapis Lazuli, Ruby [and] Tourmaline” says Bloomberg.
But, aside from having access to the Mullah’s moolah, the Chinese diplomatic relationship with Afghanistan may have a long-sought political benefit — namely, Taiwan. One of Beijing’s goals continues to be to undermine confidence in the U.S. among the leaders of the free, Chinese island nation of Taiwan, say the analysts at Brookings. China seeks to use Afghanistan as an example of U.S. disloyalty, portraying America as a weak sister when it comes to its reliability as an ally.
“Given Beijing’s current hard-edged disposition toward Taiwan, fresh memories of events in Hong Kong, and the Democratic Progressive Party’s control of the presidency and legislature, there is a low likelihood of Beijing’s psychological pressure resulting in near-term policy shifts in Taipei. If questions of American reliability grow as a topic of political debate in Taiwan, though, they could become a factor in upcoming elections and the policies that flow from them.”
The Foreign Policy newsletter is in synch with the Brookings Institution’s analysis. FP says that China is the “new great power” on the world stage in direct opposition to America, and that “Perhaps most importantly, recognizing Taliban-run Afghanistan would contribute to the perception that it is Beijing—and no longer Washington—that is now setting the agenda and shaping the future regional order.”
And, according to FP, while other nations harbor concerns that the Taliban cares not about human rights, China could care less about how they treat Afghani citizens, namely women. They see that cozying up with the new rulers of Afghanistan is a geopolitical win at the expense of the U.S., And they perceive it as a potential cash cow, to boot.
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