mandag 23. august 2021

‘Hedging their bets’: Political experts weigh in on China’s growing relations with the Taliban

China was one of the first countries that expressed willingness to engage with Taliban militants diplomatically when they swept to power in Afghanistan — analysts say it’s a pragmatic move, but relations could be “tricky” considering Beijing’s strategic interests. Beijing has for years been preparing for the possibility of the Taliban’s return to power, according to Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at Rand Corporation. “Unofficially, they’ve been speaking with the Taliban for many years now, hedging their bets,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.

But the relationship between China and the Islamist militant group is “tricky” because Beijing targets what it calls religious extremism among ethnic minority Muslims in Xinjiang, said Ian Johnson of the Council on Foreign Relations.