In recent days, it has become clearer how the situation in Afghanistan is perceived not by those who fled (the United States), but by those who remained. That is, Moscow, Beijing and some other regional powers. As you know, the Russian Embassy in Kabul is not closed and is under the protection of the new authorities, the same applies to the so-called Kabul Chinatown.
Beijing put it this way: “It will be possible to talk about whether China will establish new diplomatic relations with Afghanistan only after a tolerant and open government is formed there, sufficiently representing the interests of its country.” This was stated by a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. But at the same time he added that all possible assistance will be provided to Afghanistan when the situation stabilizes.
That is, you will have a garden city, but before that the same Foreign Ministry noted that it hopes for a complete rupture of the new regime with any terrorist forces. So the formula for the future deal is clearer than the clear: both recognition and cooperation in exchange for not only verbal, but also a specific refusal of the new masters of the country to support – in the case of China – Uyghur jihadists and assassins who moved outside the borders of Xinjiang, bordering on Central Asia, but in no way abandoned their plans. In the case of Russia, the formula is the same, only terrorists are designated others related to Uzbekistan and our other neighbors.
In any case, an instant seizure of power by the Taliban is not the worst option for Moscow and Beijing. Of many evils, one extreme regime, holding firmly in power across the country, is better than several of the same regimes. Beijing media outlets remind that since 2001, American troops have killed about 30 thousand civilians in the country, injured up to 60 thousand and turned 11 million (out of about 38 million) into refugees. It’s not about internal clashes, but about the United States, which in 2019 alone inflicted 6,825 drone strikes and dropped 7,423 bombs – 20 bombs a day.
That is, now even bad stability will turn out to be better than the chaos that was. By the way, the Taliban negotiated this not only in Moscow, but also in Tianjin on July 28. Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke, apparently with the head of the Taliban team, Abdul Ghani Baradar. It is clear that trade on the format of future relations with Afghanistan at these meetings has already begun: well, we will not interfere with you in your march to Kabul and other cities, but what future policy will we receive from you in return? By the way, at least in Tianjin, the Taliban have already said that they will not encourage terrorism.
It is clear that there is still a long way to go to clear agreements. But it is even more clear who will not participate in these agreements in any way. The fact is that last Tuesday US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called Moscow and Beijing and conducted conversations, mainly about an immediate and burning problem – about flight and technical details associated with it.
In Russia, the same colorful details of these conversations have not yet leaked to the media as happened in China. Apparently, the essence of the Chinese position is this: there is nothing to talk about with the Americans about Afghanistan. Because they are probably happy at least that Beijing – possibly – will get the same problem in the form of reviving Uyghur terrorists, if, of course, they will be friends with the victorious Taliban. And in all conceivable negotiations “on the Afghan problem” the Taliban will be gently nudged towards this. And if Moscow has the same problem, then in general everything will turn out to be fine. And the States no longer have any interests in this region, everyone has lost.
Here is a strictly private expert opinion from Beijing: China is in no way obligated to help America in this region in any way. The United States is building relations with the PRC (and with Russia) according to the formula “compete where necessary, cooperate where possible and feud if necessary.” That is, they intend to cooperate only where it suits them – but China will never accept such logic. The entire scope of cooperation should be beneficial to both parties. And if with one hand they will encourage jihad on our borders, then why should we support their other hand in other matters?
The Afghan catastrophe will ruin American policy in the most unexpected directions for a long time to come, and in South and Central Asia, as well as in the Middle East, this will inevitably and quickly happen. And nowhere will this be so noticeable as in the complex history of relations with Pakistan – we note, once the most loyal ally of Washington in the entire region.
Here is another American panic publication about the consequences of the Afghan disaster. The author is a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, who then quarreled with the country’s leadership, returned to America and established himself there.
In his article, you will see all the horror scenarios for Pakistan itself, which, as you know, gave birth to the Taliban and now should rejoice that it has become a key force in the region. In addition, the former ambassador recalls, the United States has gotten to the point that it was Beijing that became the main ally and sponsor of Islamabad, and if the country used to buy American weapons, now it is acquiring Chinese ones.
The Taliban will still show China, America and Pakistan, the ambassador prophesies. In principle, such a nuisance is not excluded. Therefore, the operation to tame the Taliban and force them to behave in a civilized manner in the world is just beginning, and no easy game is expected.