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China is planning to give aid and COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan in a move designed to strengthen the connection between the two countries.
As reported by CNN, “China will provide almost $31 million worth of food, winter weather supplies, vaccines, and medicine to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, China’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.”
“Hua Chunyin, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, said the decision was announced during the first meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and would be ‘for emergency use to the Afghan people,’” the outlet added.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also reportedly said that China will give 3 million vaccine doses to Afghanistan in the first round, according to the Chinese government-run media Xinhua. It is unclear what schedule, if any, has been set for the vaccines to be distributed.
Chinese officials reportedly took aim at the United States in the announcements, as well. “Speaking at the foreign minister’s meeting in Beijing via video link, Wang also said the United States and its allies were more obligated than any other country to provide economic and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people,” CNN noted.
China has been inching closer to solidifying its relationship with the Taliban over the past several weeks after the disastrous withdrawal of United States troops from the region was carried out by the policies of President Joe Biden and his administration.
The failure of the Biden administration’s efforts to effectively take troops out of the country led to the swift takeover of the nation by the Taliban and resulted in a terrorist attack carried out by Islamic State-Khorasan that killed 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghans.
CNN reported that Taliban leaders and the Chinese foreign minister held a meeting in July where Wang said the Taliban was “an important military and political force in Afghanistan” and stated they would play “an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.”
Last week, a Taliban spokesperson spoke of the ties the group was looking to have with China.
“China is a very important and strong country in our neighborhood, and we have had very positive and good relations with China in the past,” he said. “We want to make these relations even stronger and want to improve the level of mutual trust.”
Last week, The Daily Wire noted that according to the Taliban, “China reportedly wants to ‘beef up’ relations with the extremist group in Afghanistan.”
The Guardian reported on Friday, “China has promised to keep its embassy in Kabul open and ‘beef up’ relations, the Taliban have said … A spokesman for the Islamist militia, Suhail Shaheen, said on Friday a senior member of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar had been told by China’s deputy foreign minister that Beijing also aimed to increase humanitarian assistance.”
Foreign Policy reported in July:
Beijing has reportedly been actively engaging with Kabul on construction of the Peshawar-Kabul motorway, which would connect Pakistan to Afghanistan and make Kabul a participant in China’s massive infrastructure and investment plan, the Belt and Road Initiative. … Beijing is also building a major road through the Wakhan Corridor—a slim strip of mountainous territory connecting China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang to Afghanistan—and onward to Pakistan and Central Asia … According to a 2014 report, Afghanistan may possess nearly a trillion dollars’ worth of extractable rare-earth metals locked within its mountains.
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this week, China appears to be ramping up its activity in other areas, as well, including Taiwan, after the tragic and devastating withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
“Chinese military aircraft, including fighter jets, have been flying repeatedly into Taiwan’s air defense zone,” The Daily Wire reported. This is reportedly not the first time China has put jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone during the Biden administration, The Daily Wire noted, adding on January 24, 15 aircraft were spotted and on 12 April, Taiwan reported 25 jets.