Taliban promise Beijing it will break with Uighur terror outfit bent on attacking Xinjiang but that will be easier said than done
by Salman Rafi Sheikh August 3, 2021
„Afghanistan’s Taliban and China are drawing closer together as the militant group drives to seize power through force in the wake of America’s troop withdrawal. Whether the two sides can build a mutually beneficial alliance, however, will come down to the Taliban’s ability and willingness to rein in extremist groups that so far have been instrumental to its battlefield successes.
When Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar recently led a delegation to Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi specifically asked the group to “make a clear break” with terror outfits. These include chiefly the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a militant group of ethnic Uighurs with a history of launching attacks in China’s western Xinjiang region.
Designated by the United Nations as a terror outfit, ETIM aims ultimately to make Xinjiang into an independent state of “East Turkestan.” Xinjiang’s stability is particularly sensitive for Beijing as the geographic hub of its Belt and Road Initiative’s link connecting to Pakistan and beyond.
Xinjiang is also where China holds as many as one million ethnic Uighurs in “vocational camps” critics have likened to concentration camps, allegations that have provided fuel to ETIM’s anti-Beijing fires. A UN Security Council report published in May said the ETIM has a “transnational agenda” to target Xinjiang as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan.“ (…)