The Chinese government is begging the Taliban to provide better protection to Chinese citizens in Afghanistan after two recent terrorist attacks targeted Chinese nationals in Kabul. Multiple reports have also emerged over the past week stating that China I going so far as to offer the Taliban weapons in an effort to bolster the country's counter-terrorism capabilities in the capital.
According to a U.S. national security website 19fortyfive, "Rather than subsidize education or develop the country, it now appears that the Taliban will use its limited cash to purchase or otherwise acquire Blowfish drones from China."
The website goes on to describe the Chinese-built drones, saying, "The Blowfish is a potentially devastating platform. The mini-helicopter can fire machine guns, launch mortars, and throw grenades. Artificial intelligence imbues them with the ability to determine who lives and who dies on the battlefield with minimal human input. The Pentagon has already expressed fears that Blowfish exported to the Middle East could end up in the wrong hands."
China's concerns don't appear to stop with the security situation. The Chinese government is also looking to expand Belt and Road initiative projects in the AfPak region.
"Chinese officials also fear for the security of projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which have faced several attacks in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in Pakistan," the website continued.
"Both these provinces are adjacent to Afghanistan and officials in Pakistan have alleged that Baloch groups fighting for the freedom of Balochistan and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operate from bases across the Durand Line with the active co-operation of the Afghan Taliban," the website concluded.
In a Tuesday report, Newsmax wrote that China is "planning to fortify its economic position in Afghanistan by providing lethal drones to the Taliban."
It has also been alleged by other sources, including the Jamestown Foundation, that China and the Taliban have a 'quid pro quo' based on weapons sales, including drones. However, neither side has officially confirmed that agreement or released statements outlining any of the details.
It is unlikely that Beijing would want such an agreement publicized, given the extremist Islamic nature of the Taliban and its inability to protect Chinese diplomats and businessmen in Kabul.
Subscribe to our evening newsletter to stay informed during these challenging times!!