Is China in talks with the Taliban for Bagram Airbase?

Nikki Haley, a former United States Ambassador to United Nations gave an interview to Fox News on Wednesday in which she warned that China might be planning a move to take over the Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. There are also looming concerns that through Afghanistan, China might design to use Pakistan against India.

Nikki also expressed that the USA needs to reach out to its allies such as Australia, Taiwan, India, Ukraine, Japan or Israel, provide them with much-needed confidence that the USA has got their back. This is also the time that America needs its allies the most. Moreover, there must be a strong anti-terrorist campaign around the globe as Jihadists are soon going to launch a recruiting spree.

In her interview, Haley was seen strongly criticising President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out the US troops from Afghanistan & called the decision ‘disastrous’. She has previously called the whole Afghanistan situation ‘disgusting’. As per Haley, the implications of this foreign policy, adopted by President Biden, could be catastrophic to America. Taliban is currently celebrating on the streets because the USA gave them free control over Afghanistan & also left them with a parting present of equipment and weaponry worth billions of dollars.

The US handed back the Bagram Air Base to the Afghan government on 1st July 2021. The Bagram Air Force base landed in the hands of the Taliban on 15th August 2021 after the Afghan Army gave in & surrendered. Although the Taliban has seized the arms & ammunition present at the Afghan Airfield, the group does not have a dedicated air force army that can operate the Bagram Airbase or can be deployed from it.

Before the recent withdrawal of troops by the USA after nearly 20 years of continuous US presence at the site, Bagram was used to be the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan. During its operations in Afghanistan, the USA has modernized the Bagram Airfield with hospital beds, dental clinics and theatres.

The abandoned Bagram Airfield is a prize in the hands of the Taliban which it cannot use – a situation which China will be more than willing to exploit.

When essentially all nations have either relocated, suspended or closed their embassies in Afghanistan, the Chinese embassy keep on operating. Similarly, Pakistan & Russia, the countries with a strong bond with China, continue to run their embassies in Afghanistan normally.

Taliban has previously satisfactorily ensured Beijing that it wants the two nations to be friends and the group is already in the process of talking up future plans of collaboration with China.

During an interview with an Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said that the group plans to make an economic comeback & will heavily depend on financing from Beijing. China will play a pivotal role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction.

Zabihullah also said that China is the Taliban’s main ally. China is offering an extraordinary chance for the group and is eager to invest & contribute in building the Taliban’s vision of Afghanistan.

Taliban is excited to offer Afghanistan’s rich copper mines to China’s silk road initiative and hopes that, through China, the Taliban would get access to the markets across the world. In return, China seems to be eyeing the Bagram Airbase & the Taliban’s support against Uyghur separatists.

Most nations are worried that China might be funding an already existing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Analysts say that China is using investments as part of a larger game to acquire the national assets present in Afghanistan such as the Bagram Airfield base. After all, there is a strategic dimension to everything that China does. 



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