The U.K.’s Telegraph reports that the Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrew its troops from the nation, has announced that China will be its top ally as the group hopes to break into the international market.
The announcement was made by Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman who said China will be the group’s “principal partner” in the global community, the Telegraph reported.
Mujahid also said Thursday that China is “ready to invest in” and work toward reconstructing Afghanistan.
A symbiotic relationship
The development hardly comes as a surprise; China has been cozying up to the Taliban for some time, and it remains one of the only countries that has vowed to keep its embassy in Kabul open, as The Washington Post notes.
According to the Telegraph, Mujahid said the Taliban sees China as representing “a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity because it’s ready to invest in and reconstruct our country.” He also said Afghanistan has “rich copper mines, which thanks to the Chinese can be brought back into production and [modernized]. China represents our passport towards the markets of the whole world,” Mujahid added.
Biden and the Taliban
The apparently strong relationship between the Taliban and China is bad news for the U.S. in more ways than one. But at the moment, the chief concern lies with American citizens who are still trapped in Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden and his administration have claimed that they still have leverage over the Taliban, leverage that will purportedly allow them to negotiate with the Taliban and get out everyone who needs to be evacuated.
But as GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI) recently pointed out, the U.S. isn’t going to have much leverage over the terror group if China is its ally.
“We don’t have leverage. Their entire theory of the case [is] that we have leverage because the Taliban want recognition, they want humanitarian assistance. But the Chinese are going to provide them with whatever cash they need,” Rep. Gallagher explained in a radio interview Friday, according to Breitbart. “And leverage comes from victory on the ground, and they have it. We don’t.”
Gallagher also charged that the U.S., under Biden, had effectively “surrendered” to the Taliban.
“We surrendered to them,” the congressman said, as Breitbart reported. “And now, they have the leverage that comes from hundreds of Americans potentially being taken hostage by the Taliban and sold to al-Qaida or sold to some other country. We have no leverage.”
In even more bad news, reports indicate that Russia is also hopeful that the Taliban joins the international trade community. It seems the situation in Kabul is looking worse and worse for the U.S. — and it’s all happening on President Biden’s watch.