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Anti-Americanism bonds China, Iran, Russia with Taliban

AT News

KABUL – China, Iran, and Russia have been treading cautiously in their engagement with Taliban-led government in Afghanistan since its rise to power in August 2021, a gambit mainly driven by motivated by shared anti-American sentiments rather than genuine alignment of their interests.

Despite their attendance at prominent events such as the Taliban’s recent regional cooperation conference in Kabul and the retention of embassies in the capital, experts argue that the extent of collaboration between these nations and the Taliban remains constrained.

According to Alex Vatanka, from the Middle East Institute in Washington, the common thread uniting China, Iran, and Russia is their opposition to American influence in the region. However, beyond this overarching goal, there exists little ideological cohesion to sustain their partnership.

While China has notably taken steps like accepting the Taliban’s ambassador’s credentials, experts caution against interpreting such actions as formal recognition of the Taliban government. Sun Yun, from the Stimson Center in Washington, emphasizes China’s pragmatic approach, rooted in a recognition of the Taliban’s entrenched position in Afghanistan and concerns over regional stability.

China’s engagement with the Taliban predates its takeover of Kabul, reflecting a strategic calculation regarding Afghanistan’s significance in regional dynamics. Central to China’s approach is the imperative to safeguard against potential spillover of militancy into its Xinjiang region.

Despite efforts to cultivate ties with the Taliban, China, Iran, and Russia have refrained from extending formal recognition to the Taliban government, underscoring divergent interests and objectives within the region. As such, while the three nations may share a common adversary in the United States, their collaboration with the Taliban remains circumscribed by pragmatic considerations and distinct national priorities.

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