After gaining rapid control over Afghanistan, the Taliban has now shown interest to be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on Monday reportedly said that they “desire” to join China’s ambitious ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed who sees CPEC as an economic lifeline said, “It is good if Taliban’s views about China are similar to that of Pakistan.”
“Pakistan is proud of its friendship with China and if Taliban hold similar views, then it’s encouraging,” he said, sounding positive over Taliban’s affinity towards China.
Just like Pakistan, the Taliban is now looking up to China to rebuild the country ravaged by the 20 years of war. On Saturday, the radical organization had described China as their “most important partner”.
The Taliban is hopeful that Beijing will play a crucial role to rebuild the country and exploit its rich copper deposits to save it from mass hunger and economic collapse.
China concerned over the instability
The Taliban is affirmative and exhilarated at the thought of China gaining economic and infrastructure control of the region. However, Beijing is deeply concerned over the instability with the fall of the government in Afghanistan, as per reports.
On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani and Iranian counterpart expressed that a government in the war-ravaged country should be established as soon as possible.
The trio stressed the need for an ‘ intra-Afghan dialogue’ to establish peace in the country. The foreign ministers of Iran and China agreed that there is a need to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of all tribes and groups.
While the takeover of the Taliban has presented opportunities for China to make political and economic advancements, the threat of instability looming over Central Asia has got the CCP in a fix.
Moreover, China which is already dealing with Uygur militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) at the Afghanistan border, fears a spillover of the movement in the heavily Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang.