The U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan has created economic and political opportunities for China. This need not have been the case. Biden’s handlers are putting a good face on it and hoping for the best, but there is no reason for any of the parties involved to work in favor of American interests. China is exploiting an opportunity that the U.S. created them by mishandling affairs so spectacularly in Afghanistan.
“Blinken: A Chinese Role in Afghanistan Could Be ‘a Positive Thing,’” by Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, July 30, 2021:
(CNSNews.com) – Deeper Chinese involvement in Afghanistan post the U.S.-troop withdrawal could be “a positive thing,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this week, underscoring again his department’s contention that neighboring countries like China, Pakistan, and Iran have shared interests with the U.S. in seeing a stable Afghanistan.
On the same day as China’s foreign minister met with a senior Taliban delegation on Wednesday, an Indian journalist asked Blinken during a visit to New Delhi for a reaction – “because the prevailing notion here seems to be as the U.S. withdraws, China steps into that vacuum.”
“No one, whether it’s the United States, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Central Asian countries – no one has an interest in Afghanistan falling into an enduring civil war,” Blinken replied.
“No one has an interest in a military takeover of the country by the Taliban, the restoration of an Islamic emirate. Everyone has an interest in a peaceful resolution of the conflict and some kind of government that emerges that’s truly representative and inclusive.”
“And so if China is acting on those interests, if other countries are acting on those interests, that’s a positive thing.”…
But after Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Taliban delegation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian quoted him as saying, “the Afghan Taliban is an important military and political force in Afghanistan and is expected to play an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.”…
Earlier this month, State Department spokesman Ned Price also voiced confidence about a positive role for China role in Afghanistan, characterizing it as an issue on which U.S. and Chinese interests align.
“We look to China, as we do other regional countries, to play a role that is constructive and that helps bring about that outcome that is in our collective interests,” he told a briefing on July 14.
“China being, of course, an important country in the region has the potential to be a constructive force when it comes to the cause of an Afghanistan that is more secure, that is more stable, that ultimately is peaceful,” Price said. “This has the potential to be one of those areas because it is an area where our interests do align.”…
“Pakistan has a vital role to play in using its influence with the Taliban to do whatever it can to make sure that the Taliban does not seek to take the country by force,” Blinken replied. “And it does have influence, and it does have a role to play, and we hope that it plays it.”
Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence agency has both openly and clandestinely collaborated with the Taliban (and other terrorists in Afghanistan) for decades. Islamabad’s record in this area prompted the Trump administration to withhold, and later redirect, $300 million in military aid in 2018.
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