Ethnic Uighur fighters fly their flag in a file photo. Image: Facebook
Asia Times: Why China fears US withdrawal from Afghanistan
US troop drawdown may revive East Turkestan Islamic Movement and its dormant Uighur insurgency in Xinjiang
PESHAWAR – America’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s possible resumption of at least partial power in Kabul will have far-reaching implications for China and Pakistan, both of which aim to play key roles in the country’s post-war future.
China has publicly endorsed America’s plan, which will see 2,500 of 4,500 troops withdrawn by mid-January and all soldiers by mid-year, but has cautioned that an unorganized US departure could open the way for militants to re-establish Afghanistan as a regional hotbed of Islamic terror.
Last November, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian urged the US to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in an “orderly and responsible” manner.
That official comment spoke to Chinese concerns that Afghanistan, which shares a land border with China’s restive Xinjiang province, could in particular become a breeding ground for Uighur Muslim militants.
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WNU Editor: China is a close ally to Pakistan, and it is Pakistan’s madrassas and safe sanctuaries that fuel the ongoing war in Afghanistan. You reap what you sow, and for China there is a very good chance that they may face their own Islamic insurgency in the future from the safe havens in Afghanistan and elsewhere in Central Asia.