China's game in Afghanistan seems to fade after attack on Chinese nationals
Beijing: China's plan of reviving its relationship and extracting benefits from the Afghan Taliban seems to be fading away, especially after the recent explosion of the 'Kabul Hotel', which is seen as an attack on Chinese tourists, Al Arabia Post reported.
On December 12, a bomb and gun attack targeted a hotel, where five Chinese nationals were injured and endangered the Afghanistan-China relationship. This attack led to Beijing's tepid approach as China in its advisory asked citizens to leave Afghanistan. The Afghan branch of the ISIS terror group, known as ISIS-Khorasan, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Notably, the attack took place a day after the Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu met with the Taliban regime's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai and requested the group to pay more attention to the security of the Chinese embassy in Kabul," a statement released by the Taliban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The incident had given a major shock to China. After the incident, China was "deeply shocked," opposed all forms of terrorism and condemned this attack.
"In the wake of the attack, the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan immediately lodged a serious representation with the Afghan interim government and asked the Afghan side to make every effort to search for and rescue Chinese nationals. The embassy also asked the Afghan side to look thoroughly into the attack, bring the perpetrators to justice, and effectively strengthen the protection for the safety and security of Chinese nationals and institutions in Afghanistan.' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
Earlier, security interests were the primary reason that encouraged China to come close to the Afghan Taliban, but the outfit's indirect support to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, reported Al Arabia Post.
(ETIM), the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al Qaeda and other terrorists have shaken Beijing's faith in it. The result is that China has given a pause on its plan to bring big-ticket projects to Afghanistan.
However, in November, Afghanistan is seen in talks with China to rekindle the ancient Silk Road trade routes in order to help its dwindling economy. But it seems that Afghanistan also had the same plan as China.
Last year on August 15, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, China expressed its readiness to provide friendly cooperation to the landlocked nation. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also intended to play a constructive role in Afghanistan. In fact, China like Pakistan, Russia, and Iran had emerged as trusted allies of the Taliban regime, according to Al Arabia Post.
Beijing treats the landlocked country with tact and caution--no big investment or assistance, except for a few trades in cheap goods. In the name of assistance to Afghanistan, USD 31 million worth of aid was provided by Beijing last year, which included food supplies and coronavirus vaccines. This June, USD 7.5 million worth of humanitarian aid was offered to the landlocked country after an earthquake of 6.1 magnitudes struck it.
Just a year after, not only Chinese interests are facing attacks in the hurt of Kabul, but also a gulf is widening between Beijing and the Taliban as the former seems to be not ready to commit its promise of huge investments in the country into reality. Even as the current attack on the Chinese nationals in Kabul need not be seen in the context of the growing distance between the two sides, the Taliban seem to be unhappy with China's approach towards Afghanistan, as per Al Arabia Post news. (ANI)