Late last month the world beheld the unusual footage of Taliban commanders being warmly received by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in the Chinese city of Tianjin. That trip included the Islamic terror group's co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in a rare visit widely seen as an attempt of the jihadists to gain "legitimacy" abroad.
It appears to have paid off, given that now at a moment the Taliban is scoring victory and victory on the ground they are eyeing the sought after price of Kabul. And now US News and World Report writes that "China is prepared to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan if it succeeds in toppling the Western-backed government in Kabul, U.S. News has learned, a prospect that undercuts the Biden administration's remaining source of leverage over the insurgent network as it continues its startling campaign to regain control."
Beijing is still said to be urging the Taliban to strike a ceasefire and peace deal with the government under Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. In the past days Kabul has signaled it's open to a "power sharing" agreement.
But the Taliban has little incentive given it's already taken over about two-thirds of the country with relative ease and while beholding retreating national forces.
"However, new Chinese military and intelligence assessments of the realities on the ground in Afghanistan have prompted leaders in the Chinese Communist Party to prepare to formalize their relationship with the insurgent network, according to multiple U.S. and foreign intelligence sources familiar with the Chinese assessments," the report says further.
Wang Yi’s new friends. pic.twitter.com/jmlrWc195J— Aadil Brar (@aadilbrar) July 28, 2021
At the same time to US and UK are meekly warning of "isolation" on the global stage should the Taliban take back the country, in what's simply looking like a repeat of the scenario pre-2001.
China, meanwhile, wants to become the first country to officially recognise Taliban rule in Afghanistan after Pakistan. 🙈— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 12, 2021
Previously the Biden administration spelled out that any future Taliban government in Afghanistan would be viewed as a "pariah state". US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said weeks ago: "The Taliban says that it seeks international recognition, that it wants international support for Afghanistan. Presumably, it wants its leaders to be able to travel freely in the world, sanctions lifted, etc," however, he underscored it would be immediately isolated, with "pariah" status akin to other 'rogue regimes'.