Sat, Feb 25, 2017 | updated 03:25 AM IST

China double deals Taliban and Afghanistan government

Updated: Aug 03, 2016 08:23 IST

Hong Kong, Aug.3 (ANI): The Chinese leadership has come in for harsh criticism from the Afghan government for having invited a Taliban delegation to meet with Chinese officials in Beijing last month.

The team led by Abbas Stanakzai, who is head of Taliban's political office in Qatar, was reportedly on a five-day visit from July 18-22 to Beijing to meet with Chinese leadership.

The Taliban delegation is said to have conveyed to the Chinese side about the "occupation of the invading forces and their atrocities on Afghan people". The Taliban official also stated that "we have good terms with different countries of the world and China is one among them". Taliban sources told the press that it hopes the Chinese government could help bring global attention to the issue in Afghanistan and "help us get freedom from occupying forces."

China has not officially commented on the talks but it is among the four countries - the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (comprising of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the US) which is part of the Afghanistan peace process that involves bringing the Taliban on board all future solutions.

China has held several meetings with the Taliban in the past decade because of concerns that Uighur militants had begun taking shelter in Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan.

In December 2000, China sought assurance from Mullah Omar that the Taliban would not allow Uyghur militants to conduct operations against China. In return, China agreed to give political recognition to the Taliban government. Pakistan's powerful ISI and Army have often been the enthusiastic intermediaries in the relationship.

China has maintained direct links with the Taliban leadership at various levels since 2001. Since 2012 however, the focus has broadened beyond the Uyghur issue. It now focusses around security of Chinese investments in Afghanistan and preventing the members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) to use Afghanistan as a launching pad for terrorist activities in China.

Despite being in bed with the Taliban, China has inexplicably even enhanced its engagement with the present Afghan government especially in the area of security. In a span of less than two years, China has signed at least four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the areas of security, border protection and supply of security equipment.

In February this year, a high-level visit by a Chinese military delegation headed by Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army, formalized millions of dollars worth of military hardware in aid to Afghanistan. These include machine guns, hand grenades, portable explosive detectors, frequency jamming devices and handheld metal detectors.

The Chinese side would not confirm the grocery list that the Afghans gave but the official press release said "Both sides are willing to further deepen military exchanges in various fields and strengthen pragmatic cooperation in counterterrorism, training and training of personnel in order to contribute to safeguarding regional security."

The first tranche arrived on a Russian carrier in July this year in Kabul.

China now is major and reliable supplier of arms for the Afghan government even though Beijing continues its dalliance with the Taliban. But it has always been Chinese strategy, right from the days of the Mujahideen in the 1980s, to hunt with the hounds and run with the hare.

China is building up its influence with the official Afghan government to keep its business interests safe and be a potent political force in the region. Simultaneously it has emerged as a security pole in South Asia with Pakistan providing major back up support. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 25 (ANI): The White House on Friday blocked several news organisations from an off-camera press briefing, raising alarm among the First Amendment watchdogs.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): A second suicide car bomber hit the location near a Syrian village near al-Bab that, earlier in the same day, saw another explosion. The twin blasts happened on Friday, just a day after Turkey-led forces established full control over the city.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Feb. 25 (ANI): China has hit back at U.S. President Donald Trump after he accused the country of being the 'grand champion of currency manipulation'.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Feb. 24 (ANI): China on Friday urged the Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay to 'follow the trend of the times and exercise prudence on the South China Sea issue.'

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that his immigration policy is going to save 'countless American lives' as immigration officials are finding drug dealers and criminals and 'throwing them the hell out of' the country'.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Feb. 24 (ANI): The Chinese embassy in Myanmar has lodged representations to the Myanmar authorities following an assault by striking workers on a Chinese-invested garment factory in Yangon.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Feb. 24 (ANI): China's top legislature on Friday passed a revised law to boost the transparency and credibility of Red Cross societies in the country.

Full Story >>

Kathmandu [Nepal], Feb. 24 (ANI): Deliberations on the Constitution Amendment Bill finally started on Thursday, almost three months after it was registered at the Parliament Secretariat and a month and a half after it was tabled in Parliament, following the main opposition CPN-UML's decision to stay neutral.

Full Story >>

Faisalabad [Pakistan], Feb. 24 (ANI): A training school aircraft crashed in Faisalabad on Friday, killing the instructor and the trainee pilot.

Full Story >>

Trump rebukes FBI over failure to stop leaks

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 18:50 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday lambasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for being unable to stop the leaks to the media and directed them to find the leakers right away.

Full Story >>

Pakistan wants good ties with India: Sharif

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 18:14 IST

Ankara [Turkey], Feb. 24 (ANI): Asserting that Pakistan wants to have good ties with India, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said both sides should maintain good relations and avoid indulging in conspiracies against each other.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): A preliminary report by the Chemistry Department of Malaysia has revealed that the chemical substance used to kill Kim Jong Nam was a VX nerve agent, an internationally-banned chemical weapon.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Feb. 24 (ANI): China should hire high-tech talent from India for maintaining its innovation ability, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb.24 (ANI): Indian Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda Rebecca A. Kadaga have reiterated the need for closer cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries, especially in the domain of capacity building and parliamentary exchanges.

Full Story >>

Lahore [Pakistan], Feb. 24 (ANI): Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Friday that yesterday's blast in Lahore's DHA was not an act of terror but an "accident", as forensic samples collected from the site had shown that the blast was a cylinder explosion.

Full Story >>

45 killed in car bomb explosion in Syria

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 15:08 IST

Dubai [UAE], Feb. 24 (ANI): At least 45 people have reportedly been killed and several others injured after a car bomb hit Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a village near al-Bab.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb.24 (ANI): Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, both India and Uganda have said that the international community needs to be more proactive in countering this menace.

Full Story >>

Kampala [Uganda], Feb.24 (ANI): Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Friday said both India and Uganda have agreed that there is a great potential for enhancement and expansion of mutual bilateral trade relations between the two nations.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): China on Friday said that it supports India and other countries on the issue of terrorism but sees bilateral between the two nations more important.

Full Story >>

Kansas [United States], Feb. 24 (ANI): A 24-year old American Ian Grillot, who suffered injuries in his arm and chest while trying to tackle the shooter at a Kansas city bar who opened fire on two Indian men, is being hailed for his heroic efforts, however, he reckons he did what anyone else would have done at the time.

Full Story >>