As the Taliban gains control of 85% of Afghanistan territory, the militant group has assured that the safety of Chinese investors and workers in the country and called them a ‘welcome friend.’ In an interview with South China Morning Post, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen that the Taliban would guarantee the safety of Chinese workers in Afghanistan and invited the Communist country to invest in reconstruction work “as soon as possible”. Moreover, Shaheen also guaranteed China that it would not host Uyghur militants from the Xinjiang province.
“We have been to China many times and we have good relations with them. If (the Chinese) have investments, of course, we will ensure their safety,” South China Morning Post quoted the Taliban spokesperson as saying.
China looking to make advances in Afghanistan?
It is important to mention that like its other Asian neighbors- such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, China is also looking to invest big in mineral-rich Afghanistan which hosts billions of dollars worth unexploited reserves. Notably, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) already has a 25-year contract which it signed in 2011 to drill three oil fields in the region. Apart from business, the region also holds significant geopolitical importance and offers a direct portal to the Arabian Sea and possible access to Iran and the Middle East. It also offers a route to the Indian Ocean and Africa. According to FoxNews, with the withdrawal of US troops, the communist country is looking for an opportunity to enter the war-torn region.
Situation intensifies in Afghanistan
With US troops almost completely out of Afghanistan, the Mujahideens (terrorists) in the Taliban have gained about a third of the war-torn country. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday hit out at the militants and accused the Taliban of the ongoing violence in the country in which is claiming the lives of at least 200 to 600 people daily. “Taliban should be asked whom they are fighting for? Who will benefit if Afghanistan is ruined and if Afghans are killed?” Ghani said according to Tolo News.
There is widespread fear the Taliban will unleash a full-fledged civil war after seizing control of several districts in North Afghanistan. Afghan forces are reported to be retaliating and launching a counter-offensive against the Taliban.