Indonesian Muslims burn a Communist flag.
The Taliban avoids Chinese Muslims as the Taliban has reassured China it won’t interfere in the country’s internal affairs after the militant group took greater control of Afghanistan this week.
In a major offensive, the Taliban recently captured major border crossings with Iran and Turkmenistan. It also moved through the northeastern province of Badakhshan, reaching the border with China’s Xinjiang region.
Despite being so close to China, the militants have assured Beijing they are not planning on interfering with the country’s affairs, especially concerning Xinjiang’s Uyghur population, reports the Wall Street Journal.
China’s treatment of Uyghurs has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, with a number of countries – including the United States and the United Kingdom – calling the country’s treatment of the Muslim minority population genocide.
Taliban leaders say while they are concerned about the treatment of Muslims in China, they will not cause any trouble for the Chinese government.
“We care about the oppression of Muslims, be it in Palestine, in Myanmar, or in China, and we care about the oppression of non-Muslims anywhere in the world. But what we are not going to do is interfere in China’s internal affairs,” a senior Taliban official in Doha, Qatar, where the group’s political office is based, told the Wall Street Journal.
The Taliban’s recent resurgence comes as US troops pull out of the country. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden said the country’s “military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31”. According to the Pentagon, more than 90 percent of the withdrawal operation has already been completed.
As the US leaves, Taliban officials say their fighters have now taken control of 85 percent of the country, the BBC reports.
According to one expert spoken to by the Wall Street Journal, China’s influence in the region is set to grow once the US has left the country for good.
“The Taliban want to show China goodwill,” Qian Feng, head of research at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijing, told The Journal.
“They hope that China can play a more important role, especially after America pulls out its troops.”
Despite reports of the Taliban’s power growing, Biden has defended the US’ withdrawal from the country after 20 years of war.
“I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” he said this week.