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by The Spectator
Chinese Whispers

Will China become Afghanistan's new sponsor?


Last month, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed senior Taliban leaders to Beijing, standing shoulder to shoulder for the photographers. China is carefully watching events unfold in Afghanistan. And while it hasn’t yet recognised the Taliban government, the Beijing meeting was a nod towards a potential alliance.
But replacing America in Afghanistan wouldn’t be without its risks – can Beijing succeed where Washington failed? America's 20 year mission in the country cost lives and money. And what would a closer alliance mean for China’s Xinjiang policy, considering the close links that the Taliban has historically had with militant Uyghur groups?

I speak to Tom Miller, author of China's Asian Dream, and Dr Mike Martin, author of An Intimate War and former British Army officer in Helmand.



by The Spectator