The Limits of China’s Engagement in Afghanistan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, then head of the Taliban’s political office, in Tianjin, China, July 28, 2021 (photo by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China).
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, then head of the Taliban’s political office, in Tianjin, China, July 28, 2021 (photo by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China).

In the wake of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan amid the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces and their allies, China has rhetorically seized upon America’s failures. The official Xinhua news agency lambasted the United States as “the world’s largest exporter of unrest,” arguing that “its hegemonic policies” have led to far too many human tragedies, and that the fall of Kabul marked the collapse of America’s international image and credibility.  Beijing also appears to be extending an enthusiastic hand to the Taliban. In late July, several of the group’s leaders visited China and met directly with Foreign Minister […]

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