fredag 6. august 2021

Taliban won’t readily cut ties with anti-China ETIM

China and Pakistan are pressuring the Taliban to make a clean break with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terror groups, many of which have sanctuaries in the northeastern and southwestern parts of Afghanistan. That pressure is building as certain of the groups launch new assaults on Chinese interests in neighboring Pakistan, including the US$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project that Beijing seeks to extend to Afghanistan for greater Central Asian connectivity.

China sees the ETIM in particular as a “direct threat to its national security”, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a Taliban delegation at a recent meeting. The militant group bent on destabilizing China’s western Xinjiang region is also a threat to China’s interests in Pakistan. Beijing’s request to the Taliban came after a joint China-Pakistan investigation showed ETIM and TTP colluded in a July 14 bus bomb attack that killed nine Chinese engineers working on the CPEC-related Dasu hydropower dam project in Pakistan’s upper Kohistan region.