Wed, Mar 29, 2017 | updated 06:50 PM 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)

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): Investigators in Bangladesh have started preliminary investigation against controversial businessman Moosa Bin Shamser after they received information that he had committed crimes during the 1971 war.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): India has become a net exporter of electricity from being a net importer of electricity as the country exported 5,798 million units of electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar this year, according to an official release.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): Four members of a new faction of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (New JMB) were detained by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from Dhaka's Dohar area.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India will be delighted to welcome Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the country, adding that his counterpart's visit will boost relations between the two countries.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Mar. 29 (ANI): Pakistan is pursuing a two faced policy of trying to befriend Iran and at the same time maintaining close ties with Saudi Arabia, according to informed sources and in the process is angering both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Full Story >>

Trump attacks NYT, asks it to be more honest

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 06:46 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Citing a report in United States' news daily New York Post, President Donald Trump has attacked New York Times stating that the news daily's deteriorating readership could have improved had it been honest about its reports.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 29 (ANI): Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for First Lady of the United States Melania Trump to move into the White House or to foot the security bill for staying in the Trump Tower in New York.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 29 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May will today trigger Article 50 that will kick-start the Brexit process for Britain to formally leave the European Union (EU) in two years' time.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 29 (ANI): China and the Philippines will hold the first meeting of a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue in May.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The United States has expressed its concerns over the irregularities, ?which it said impeded a free and fair vote in the Maldives Parliament, during the no-confidence motion against speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 29 (ANI): Takeoffs and landings have temporarily been halted at London Stansted Airport after pro-migrant activists stormed the runway in an attempt to keep a "deportation flight" of failed asylum seekers grounded at the Essex airport.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI):U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that could be the end of Obama-era environmental policy.

Full Story >>

Scotland, Mar. 29 (ANI): First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has won a key vote for a second independence referendum, triggering accusations from British ministers that her demands are premature.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Washington later this year.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 28 (ANI): Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been asked by a Dhaka Court to appear before it on April 10 in connection with 11 cases that include sedition and inciting violence.

Full Story >>

Kabul [Afghanistan], Mar. 28 (ANI): Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri urged Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists and asked Islamabad to prevent terrorists coming into their territory.

Full Story >>

Kathmandu [Nepal], Mar. 28 (ANI): Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, arrived on a four day visit to Kathmandu on Tuesday to receive the honorary General title of Nepal Army.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 28 (ANI): Asserting that Islamabad needs to address its internal issues, former Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Ashraf Jehangir Qazi has said that China would never own Pakistan's problems as it has its own vision and given its issues with the United States and India.

Full Story >>