The return of the Taliban has been perceived as a victory not only for Pakistan but also for China. While Pakistan has always supported the Taliban, China emerged as a sympathiser and friendly ‘Big Brother’ around 2019.
In 2019, a Taliban delegation visited Beijing to meet China’s special representative for Afghanistan Deng Xijun. The Taliban and China discussed the outfit’s peace talks with the United States.
CHINA MAINSTREAMING TALIBAN
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen had then said on Twitter that the Chinese found the US-Taliban yet-to-be-inked deal “a good framework for the peaceful solution of the Afghan issue”. Shaheen also claimed that “they [China] support it”.
That Mullah Baradar, who led the Taliban in negotiations with the US in Doha, Qatar, was part of the Taliban delegation that visited China was confirmed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
Now, the fast-paced move that China has made in engaging with the Taliban in Afghanistan and virtually exhorting the world to mainstream the Taliban and the Taliban’s invitation to China to their government inauguration indicates the degree of their engagement and mutual trust.
Both Pakistan and China seem to have played a crucial role in nuancing the Taliban’s position in the US-Taliban deal and subsequent takeover of Afghanistan.