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Taliban delegation touches down in China for two-day talks on Afghan peace

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Taliban delegation touches down in China for two-day talks on Afghan peace

taliban talk schina
Photo: AP

China was expected to host two days of talks between the Taliban and Afghan government delegates in Beijing today but unconfirmed reports suggest a postponement is in the cards.

China and Russia have made various coordinated efforts to facilitate dialogue between the parties over the past year. They have gained renewed purpose since US-Taliban talks collapsed on September 7 after Taliban attacks in Kabul.

China has a clear interest in resolving the 19-year Afghan war given that it shares a 76 kilometre border with Afghanistan. Ongoing instability in the Pakistan and Afghan border regions threaten $62 billion worth of Belt and Road projects with Pakistan. China also wants to prevent post-war Afghanistan harbouring groups like the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement, which Beijing views as terrorists with influence in its restive Xinjiang region.

The lack of official information from China about these talks casts a high possibility of postponement. Regardless, the talks are still likely to proceed in the near-term. Expect China to step up its efforts for a peaceful post-US Afghanistan in the next few months. This could include using China and Russia-led regional security forums such as the eight-member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to facilitate talks, provide anti-terrorist observers and invest in post-war reconstruction projects.

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