Last Updated: September 13, 2023, 18:22 IST
Amid its investments in Kabul, China has appointed a full-time Ambassador to Afghanistan, becoming the first country to do so since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, according to local sources.
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The Ambassador also presented his diplomatic credentials to Taliban’s Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhud.
The move comes amid China’s plan for business investments and expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China has made halting efforts to extend the BRI to Afghanistan that could see construction of railways and bridges, but is chiefly concerned with the country harboring separatists opposed to Chinese control in its northwestern region of Xinjiang.
CNN-News18 had earlier reported exclusively about Chinese visits to Kabul and the meetings with the top leadership.
CNN-News18 had also reported how wary of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and continuing with its interest in Afghanistan, China was wooing the governor of Badakshan, citing a top diplomatic source. “The Chinese are keen to control the ETIM. They plan to offer a lucrative deal to the governor. As the governor is in Turkey, his deputy is expected to attend the meeting,” he added.
The ETIM is a separatist militant outfit in Xinjiang which allegedly has links with radical outfits such as al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS or ISIS).
Recently, there were reports that Chinese telecom giant Huawei has got sanctions from the top levels of the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan to install CCTV cameras across provinces, which had led to concerns that Beijing is advancing towards profiling Afghans to increase its influence in the country.
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CNN-News18 had also reported how the Chinese were attracted to Afghanistan after the Lithium price skyrocketed eightfold from 2021 to 2022.