Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China has decided to provide Afghanistan 200 million yuan (US$31 million) worth of food, winter supplies, vaccines and medicine. China also promised, when security and other conditions are in place, to help build projects there to improve people’s livelihood and to support Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction and economic development.
Nandan Unnikrishnan, an Indian political scientist and honorary member of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India, said, “People just forget that in 1996 and 2001, respectively, China and the Taliban (a group banned in Russia) reached an agreement on the exploitation of mineral resources. So, this is not the first time for China.”
During the period of the Taliban’s rule from 1996 till 2001, China and the Taliban had some low level economic and technical cooperation. Some accounts suggest that after the US’ cruise missile attack on Afghani militant bases, Beijing reached out to the Taliban to offer Chinese support in the form of access to a missile computer guidance system. As the Taliban strengthened its hold over the country, Beijing signed a military pact in 1998 to train Afghan (and therefore Taliban) pilots. Then in 1999 they signed an economic cooperation agreement.
Source: Sputnik News, September 12, 2021
Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), September 03, 2021