What the what?? Editor-in-chief of the Chinese Communist Party propaganda Newspaper had the gall to defend the Afghan Taliban and insist that they are not a terrorist group.
Hu Xijin wrote in a commentary for the Global Times on Monday that it is of “no benefit to China at all” to antagonize the Taliban.
He claims that the United States does not render the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist group, and only has the Pakistani Taliban listed on the State Department’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
“The Afghan government and the Taliban have both expressed their friendly attitude toward China. This is certainly good for China,” Hu wrote. “Yet I saw some people have described the Taliban as an enemy of China’s national interests and called for the antagonism of China against the group. Such a claim is emotional, naive and deeply out of place in my opinion.”
“Some Chinese netizens do not understand Afghanistan. They have put labels on the Taliban and showed abhorrence against it because of the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha, and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which once had activities on Taliban’s domain,” he continued.
ETIM is a non-existent Uyghur jihadist group that China uses as its excuse to persecute Uyghurs, placing them in concentration camps for “re-education” to prevent their recruitment by ETIM. The United States government confirmed last year that no evidence suggests a single member of ETIM exists at the moment. Chinese nationals — not Uyghurs, but members of the ethnic Han majority of China — were arrested last year apparently embroiled in a plot to fabricate and build a fake ETIM cell in Kabul.
“The Taliban tends to go to extremes on religious matters and shares values with many terrorist groups. To what extent will their shared values lead to real acts requires an objective assessment,” Hu added.
“The situation around Afghanistan is rather complex, but China clearly knows what its national interests are. We should not create enemies for ourselves at this crunch time,” he concluded. “In particular, we should not easily reject the goodwill from the Taliban, which is of great significance to our exerting influence in Afghanistan and maintaining stability in Xinjiang.”
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