South Asia and Beyond

Taliban Calls China ‘Principal Partner’; The ‘Iron Brothers’ In Afghanistan, Ramifications For India

NEW DELHI: On ‘The Gist’, Dr. Jagannath Panda, Research Fellow & Coordinator, East Asia Centre, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Series Editor, Routledge Studies Think Asia and Author, ‘India-China Relations’ & ‘China’s Path to Power’ in analysis with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

China is the Taliban’s “principal partner” in the international community, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid is quoted as saying in an interview to Italian publication La Republica, in which he adds Beijing is “ready to invest in and reconstruct” Afghanistan. A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement after a phone-call between Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Director of the Taliban’s Doha office and Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao says Hanafi praised the Belt and Road Initiative as “conducive to the development and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region. Afghanistan hopes to continue to actively support and participate in it.”

On the show, Dr Panda discusses “Beijing’s policy, evolving strategic outlook and growing worldview vis-à-vis Taliban”, the China–Pakistan ‘iron brotherhood’, what it means for Islamabad and the implications for India.

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