In the Taliban, China looks to find a new ally as it deepens ties with Islamic nations


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The Taliban’s presence at the massive October jamboree in Beijiing to celebrate the 10th year of China’s ambitious trade plan, the Belt and Road Initiative, is part of Beijing’s regional strategy. This was one of only a handful of foreign visits made by the Taliban since taking power after Nato’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Interim Afghan minister for commerce Haji Nooruddin Azizi even talked about the Taliban’s desire for Afghanistan to join the Belt and Road Initiative. The idea of an Islamist group such as the Taliban allying with the nominally secular and communist China might appear surprising. But...