A Taliban delegation recently traveled to Beijing to discuss U.S.-backed peace efforts as well as “mutual” counterterrorism concerns in Afghanistan, the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday.
Indian media reported that New Delhi’s rival Beijing hosted the delegation — led by the Taliban’s political deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — in a bid to expand its role in Afghanistan, which is expected to house projects from Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Asked about the Taliban’s visit on Thursday, Lu Kang, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that the two sides exchanged views “on Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process, counter-terrorism and other issues of mutual interest.” . . .
The Trump administration has intensified peace-seeking efforts over the last year, making the political reconciliation between Afghanistan and Kabul the primary goal of its strategy to end the nearly 18-year-old war. Nevertheless, the Taliban’s refusal to allow Kabul to participate in the ongoing negotiations has surfaced as the primary hurdle to the talks.
Taliban narco-jihadis, who are fighting to establish a sharia-compliant Islamic emirate in Afghanistan, consider themselves the only legitimate government of Afghanistan, dismissing Kabul as an American “puppet.” (Read more from “China Hosts Taliban Delegation to Enlarge Role in Afghanistan” HERE)