The US military is getting out of Afghanistan by August 31, 2021, and with barely a month to go, a Taliban delegation was already in China on July 28 holding friendly ‘talks’ in Tianjin. A photo posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website showed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi posing with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder and a close associate of the late Taliban founder Mullah Omar.
Another picture showed Chinese officials and the entire Taliban delegation. The blurb below the picture stated – “Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao held talks with Baradar and his delegation to exchange in-depth views on issues of common concern, which helped enhance mutual understanding and broaden consensus.”
For all practical purposes it seems that the People’s Republic of China is in a hurry to grant legitimacy to Taliban. It was evident in the way that the PRC interacted with the Taliban group; akin to how it would welcome, and hold talks with genuine diplomatic missions from sovereign countries.
Meanwhile a rejuvenated Taliban is going all out to achieve their goal of getting Afghanistan back into their fold. On ground their forces have wrested control of about half of the mountainous country; in the ongoing peace talks it has the upper hand, setting terms, with the Afghan government; internationally it has been sending ‘diplomatic’ missions to concerned countries, soliciting support and recognition.
Taliban representatives have been seen in Moscow and Teheran making it easy to speculate that some form of back-channel talks may have already taken place with Russia and Iran.