China to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghan if it succeeds in taking over the government in Kabul;

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The move comes as the Taliban has been routing Afghan forces as of Thursday afternoon it had overrun 10 major provincial capitals, including one near Kabul.

  • At stake for Beijing are agreements it has already secured from the Taliban not to harbor inside Afghanistan any Islamic extremists with designs to wage insurgencies in parts of western China, notably the restive Xinjiang province – a promise that far exceeds anything the U.S. has been able to extract with regard to the persistent threats of al-Qaida operatives partnered with the Taliban.
  • Any sort of stability in Afghanistan would also allow China to reap the benefits of prior economic investments in the region, including mineral rights in Afghanistan. Buried in the latest report from the U.S. inspector general overseeing reconstruction in Afghanistan was a little-noticed observation that China has dramatically increased its economic interests in Afghanistan recently, encouraging the completion of a road in the Wakhan Corridor – the sliver of land connecting the two countries.
  • It cited an Afghan Public Works Ministry spokesperson who said, “China has expressed a huge interest for investment in Afghanistan, particularly in the mining sector, and this road will be good for that, too.” The Taliban recently seized wide swaths of that territory as part of an apparent campaign to control Afghanistan’s northern border crossings.

SOURCE: NEWSWEEK

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