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Wang Yi with a delegation of the Taliban leadership. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with a delegation of the Taliban leadership in Tianjin, China, July 28, 2021 (photo by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

China Is Keeping Its Options Open on Working With the Taliban

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings  to receive it directly to your email inbox.

While the rest of the world continues to be shocked at the harrowing scenes and images accompanying the U.S. military evacuation from Afghanistan, Chinese nationalist media pundits like Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the hawkish, state-owned tabloid Global Times, have made little effort to hide their glee over what they consider to be a humiliation for the U.S. “Chinese netizens joked that the power transition in Afghanistan is even more smooth than the presidential transition in the US,” he wrote mockingly on Twitter on Monday, after former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was reported to have fled the country by helicopter and the Taliban consolidated its takeover of the capital city, Kabul. “This is the failure of the US and the West. A big, direct slap on the face of the Biden administration,” he added in another tweet. ...

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