Ahead of G-20, Beijing Admits to Hosting a Taliban Delegation

By Olivia Li, Epoch Times
June 24, 2019 Updated: June 25, 2019

News Analysis

In the run-up to the G-20 summit, China acknowledged that it recently hosted a Taliban negotiation delegation, a move that analysts believe was intended to intimidate Western countries into being afraid of imposing sanctions on China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a press briefing on June 20 that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of Taliban’s “political office” in Qatar, along with several of his assistants, had recently visited China. During their stay in China, Chinese officials exchanged views on issues that included the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism.

This is the first time the Chinese communist regime confirmed the Taliban delegation’s visit. Figures in the Pakistan government revealed that previously, Chinese authorities had invited Taliban leaders to visit China several times, but Beijing always kept it secret, according to a report in the UK newspaper The Financial Times in August 2018.

One of the Pakistan officials was quoted as saying, “The Chinese took great care in making those arrangements.”

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Taliban rejected a request from the United States to extradite Osama bin Laden. Subsequently, NATO and the Afghan Northern Alliance launched a war in Afghanistan and eventually overthrew the Taliban regime. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar fled into the mountains and continued to lead the Taliban to resist the U.S. military.

The Taliban is designated by the U.N. as a terrorist organization. After the fall of the Taliban regime, its members continued to launch terrorist attacks and plotted numerous kidnappings to fight against the current Afghan government, the United States, and its allies. For instance, on July 19, 2007, the Taliban kidnapped 23 Koreans and held them hostage, killing two of them before a deal was reached between the Taliban and the South Korean government.

Chen Weiming, a U.S.-based Chinese sculptor who had participated in the Syrian civil war, told The Epoch Times that it isn’t surprising that the Chinese communist regime is negotiating with terrorist organizations, because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the largest terrorist group in the world. Therefore, it actually brings more harm to people all over the world than the Taliban.

“Be it Taliban or Syrian dictators, in fact, what is backing them is all Chinese communist state terrorism. These terrorist groups can’t survive without the help and support from the CCP,” Chen said. “And the money the CCP uses to support them is from the blood and sweat of hard-working Chinese people.”

Chen believes the CCP is the biggest manipulator behind the Taliban. The Taliban delegation went to China because they need economic and military support from the CCP, he said. He pointed out that on the battlefield in Syria, he saw that Assad’s troops were equipped with weapons from China, as there were simplified Chinese characters written on their AK-47 rifles.

Taliban leaders also visited China in 2018, but the Chinese media didn’t report that. The Foreign Ministry spokesperson tried to evade the topic as well. But this time, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs explicitly confirmed the recent visit, and many Chinese state-run media reported it.

Chen believes there must be a secret agenda behind the change in the CCP’s attitude. “In the past, the CCP was afraid of sanctions from the international community. So it contacted terrorist organizations such as the Taliban and ISIS on the sly. Now all of a sudden it openly admitted that Beijing is negotiating with the Taliban delegation, because China is in the middle of fighting a trade war with the United States. The United States is considering economic sanctions against China. Therefore, the CCP may want to use the interactions with the Taliban to increase its bargaining power with the United States in trade negotiations,” Chen said.

“Usually association with terrorist organizations should be condemned. The CCP would not hesitate to make use of its interactions with the Taliban terrorist group to disrupt and intimidate the international community, hoping that the international society would be too afraid to impose sanctions on China,” Chen said. “It is a much worse rogue action than showing off its military power in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.”

Chinese leader Xi Jinping also visited Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and North Korea in June ahead of the G-20 summit.

Hu Ping, a U.S.-based political commentator and honorary editor of pro-democracy magazine Beijing Spring, also pointed out that the CCP’s recent visits to these countries and the interaction with the Taliban are all intended to increase its bargaining power in the upcoming U.S.–China trade negotiations.

In a recent interview with The Epoch Times, Hu mentioned that Taliban leaders must know the CCP’s persecution of Uyghurs and Muslims in Xinjinag. “The two sides are using each other for its own ends in their interactions. The CCP uses its association with the Taliban as a card it can play in the U.S.–China negotiations, while the Taliban also uses the CCP as a card it can play when negotiating with the Afghan government and the U.S. government.”

Hu said, “But between the CCP and the Taliban there won’t be any sincere friendship or allied relationship.”

Epoch Times reporters Lou Ya and Zhang Dun contributed to this article.

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