By Jianli Yang – September 16, 2021

China is brimming with optimism about the Taliban in Afghanistan. But a bombing that killed scores of people, including 13 American troops, outside the Kabul airport on August 26 has led many to distrust the Islamic group’s promise to not let anyone use the land-locked country’s soil to target another.

“The explosions show that the security situation in Afghanistan remains complex and grave,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a regular press briefing on August 27. In the same breath, he also said, “We hope relevant parties [the Taliban] will take effective measures to ensure a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan.”

The meaning is clear: China—which along with Russia and Pakistan maintains its embassy in Kabul—is prepared to… [Continue Reading]