The Blame Game?
China is reportedly helping militants carry out attacks on the US troops stationed in Afghanistan! The US Intelligence Department has revealed the fact in a Report submitted recently to outgoing President Donald Trump.
The Media in the US have quoted a top official of the Trump Administration who mentioned that the Asian Giant had been funding a number of Non-State Actors in Afghanistan to carry out attacks on the US troops. According to the official who wished to remain anonymous, several militant outfits, including the Taliban, have received Financial Support from Beijing. National Security Adviser Robert Charles O’Brien Jr has briefed President Trump on the Intelligence Report. However, it is still not clear whether the so-called Non-State Actors are waging a deadly insurgency against the US-backed Afghan Government only after receiving funds from China.
Meanwhile, Wang Wenbin, the Senior Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, has rejected the allegation of offering bounties to Afghan Non-State Actors, saying: “It’s nothing, but fake news aimed to smear China. The charges were meant to taint China’s image and damage relations between the two countries. We have never started a war with others, not to mention paying Non-State Actors to attack other countries.” Wang further said: “The International Community has a fair conclusion on who is flexing muscles, waging proxy wars and stirring up problems that disrupt regional peace and stability.”
Diplomatic ties between the US and China have deteriorated over Trade, Intellectual Property and other issues in recent times. Washington DC has criticised Beijing, as well, for abusing Human Rights especially in western Xinjiang Province, stressing in a statement that the Chinese officials are torturing the minority Uyghur Muslims.
Commenting on the issue, Michael Kugelman – the Deputy Director of the Asia Programme at Washington’s Wilson Centre – stated that “nothing can be ruled out given how tense and toxic the US-China relationship has become”. “I’m sceptical that China would do such a thing, given that Beijing largely agrees with US policy in Afghanistan and it prefers to keep a low profile there and not rock the boat,” he added.
Kugelman insisted: “Also, while China has a large diplomatic profile in Afghanistan, it doesn’t have much of a security presence and seemingly lacks the network to collude with militants.” “In other words, if Beijing is looking to hit out against the US, it’s more likely to do it elsewhere,” he stressed.
Currently, the US is reducing its troops in Afghanistan as part of a deal signed with the Government of the war-ravaged country in February 2020. The deal was aimed at ending the decades-old Afghan Civil War, the longest overseas intervention in US history. The Trump Administration has announced that there would be around 2,500 American soldiers left in the country by mid-January. Earlier, the US and its allies decided to withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan by May 2021. Later, Washington DC initiated the first direct Peace Talks between the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan for negotiating a power-sharing deal and a nationwide cease-fire.
The intra-Afghan Negotiations, which began on September 12, 2010, resumed in Qatar on January 5 after a three-week break.
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