The last time a communist regime entered Afghanistan and tried to control it militarily turned out to be its end game scenario. And China being a master at repeating the mistakes of the past seems inclined to do the same. The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that China and Pakistan have decided to undertake “joint efforts” in Afghanistan to prevent the war-torn country from becoming a “hotbed for terrorism” and to drive out terrorist elements.
The decision was reached during a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Pakistani colleague Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday in Chengdu, China’s southwestern city. China thinks that making a deal with the devil and taking the help of a failed state like Pakistan it can control the region. But Pakistan, which has already ripped apart the USA with its dual speak, will add to China’s problems rather than solving them. But the truth of the matter is, that by making an entry into Afghanistan with its PLA troops, China is entering a whirlpool where these troops are destined to drown.
For China, the problem is that the flare-up in Afghanistan can move beyond its borders and enter the Xinjiang region of China, where CCP is committing industrial-scale brutalities on the ethnic Uighurs. China also wants to secure its CPEC project and is even trying to extend it into Afghanistan. All these objectives are making the communist autocracy enter the country what is very rightly referred to as the graveyard of great powers; and thus these objectives will only pull Beijing deeper into the abyss.
It is no secret that China has amicable relations with both the civilian government of Afghanistan based out of Kabul, as well as the terror organisation Taliban. As a prerequisite, what China needs for the Taliban to do is to not provide a safe haven for the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – deemed a terror organisation of Uighurs by China. Now a nine-member delegation led by Taliban leader Mullah Baradar Akhund met Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi on Tuesday. The Taliban leader assured Beijing that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used against the security of any country.
Taliban has the ability to use the ETIM and other terror groups in Afghanistan as a bargaining chip to ensure that China does not pretend to be the alpha male in their bilateral dynamic and with the latest developments, it has already started to utilise that position. As the Taliban agrees to tame the ETIM, the terror organisation and Taliban would have found a mutual benefit by cooperating with each other. While China will help the Taliban build and reconstruct the war-torn country that Afghanistan has become, the Taliban will make sure that no extremist or militant groups threaten China’s brutal hold over the Xinjiang province.
Pakistan, meanwhile, will be happy since it would have formed an alliance of three countries to gain some bucks as it is a reeling economy and in the future it can hope to take on India. However, in all these deliberations, one must not forget that Afghanistan is a heterogeneous mix of multiple warlords and tribal groups which are at odds with the Taliban too. So, with the entry of PLA troops and the Chinese Yuan in Afghanistan, Beijing will be swept in the whirlpool of the complex domestic situations and its resources will be galloped.
The Taliban are attempting to allay global fears that Pakistan-based terror groups and pan-Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda will not use civilian strife in Afghanistan to establish terror training camps for targeting countries opposed to radical Islam by assuring Beijing that Afghan territory will not be used against any third country. However, Between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban provided safe haven to the majority of pan-Islamic terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Harkat-ul-Ansar, and HuJI Bangladesh, maintained training camps for Pakistan-based groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, and virtually sponsored global jihad around the world.
But, the actions that the Taliban is taking will even make a toddler realise that they cannot be trusted. The fact that they are getting closer to China and inviting them to Afghanistan means that they are not in control and are not even sure that they can maintain order. By getting persuaded by the Taliban and Pakistan, to enter Afghanistan, China has dug its own grave. Taliban and Pakistan will leach off of Beijing to the maximum extent and may even add it to the list of great powers for whom the war-torn country has so far served as a graveyard. While it is a bad omen for China, the world should celebrate as the paper dragon is digging its own grave.