lørdag 21. august 2021

Renewed Taliban Rule in Afghanistan Adds to Fears of China’s Uyghurs

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has made Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang region fearful that China will use the turmoil in Kabul to double down on the repressive policies that have drawn international condemnation and genocide accusations, activists and analysts said. Following the pullout of U.S. forces, Taliban militants swept across Afghanistan, seizing control of the government as President Ashraf Ghani and thousands of civilians fled for safety, fearing a return to the harsh brand of Islamic rule the group imposed when it ruled the county in the 1990s.

China has voiced concern over renewed Taliban rule and its impact on the restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), where authorities have over the past decade imposed wave upon wave of repressive measures it says are aimed at combating religious extremism and terrorism in the region. In one sign of Beijing’s concern, China conducted antiterror military drills starting on Wednesday with Tajikistan, which shares long borders with the XUAR and with Afghanistan. The XUAR shares a 57-mile (90-km) border with Afghanistan.

While Beijing has yet to formally recognize the Taliban regime as the Afghan government, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted the group’s co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, for talks in Tianjin in late July.