China’s Friendship with Taliban: Further Instability
It has been over a month since the U.S. tumultuous. Since then the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken steps to both fill in the political vacuum in Afghanistan and bolster its relationship with the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) in order to expand its Belt and Road Initiative — Beijing’s global and imperialist infrastructure plan. There is also an estimated $1 trillion in natural resources in Afghanistan, such as iron, copper, and lithium that have yet to be tapped, which the CCP is looking to reap them to its such advantage. China has in turn offered the Taliban hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild infrastructure in Afghanistan.
This is perhaps why Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said on September 3: “China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us. It is ready to invest and rebuild our country.”
Given the “trustful relationship” forged between the Taliban and Chairman Xi Jinping, certain political experts hold that there may be some sort of stability in Afghanistan. It cannot be denied that Beijing’s long-standing fears about transnational Islamic connection between Afghanistan and Xinjiang — the autonomous region in west China where the CCP has interned more than a million Uyghurs under the pretense of counterterrorism and internal order — may coerce the jihadists to enforce some type of rule of law at the Afghan-Chinese border. In truth, however, this axis of evil will only keep the Pandora’s box open.
China’s Crime of the Century
China is one of the world’s biggest human rights violators. Its so-called friendship with the Taliban will only encourage them, and other like-minded jihadists, to continue their hostile repression against anyone who opposes them, especially women and children for the mere fact that the CCP is doing the same with the aforementioned Uyghur Muslims.
Since 2017, as reported by the Congressional Research Service, Xinjiang authorities have arbitrarily detained between 1 million and 1.8 million Turkic and other Muslims, mostly Uyghurs and smaller numbers of ethnic Kazakhs and other groups, in “reeducation” centers.
The CCP, as columnist for The Guardian Nick Cohen says, “is reverting to type, and reviving the totalitarian fear of the Mao era” — forcing women to be sterilized, for example, or fitted with contraceptive devices. If they resist, they are sent and detained in what the state concentration camps. Other Uyghurs said they were tortured and subjected to sleep deprivation during interrogations at the “reeducation” camps. Women have shared stories of sexual abuse, including rape. Some released detainees contemplated suicide or witnessed others kill themselves.
Click below to hear testimony of how Uyghurs are persecuted by the CCP
China’s Persecution of Christians
There is also another reason why Beijing will allow the Taliban to enforce is draconian sharia. It is because like the Uyghurs, the CCP is persecuting Christians, specifically the “underground” Church.
The constitution of the Chinese government guarantees its citizens “religious freedom.” While legally recognizing Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam, and Protestantism, it has long feared that foreigners could use religious practice to spur separatism, Christianity in particular since it promotes Western values and human rights. These are principles that conflict with the aims of China’s authoritarian government and Mr. Xi’s totalitarianism. Hence, the CCP restricts religious activities to only government-sanctioned organizations — which are infiltrated by Communists — and registered places of worship.
Catholics, for example, can publicly practice their faith provided they submit to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, founded in 1957, which was recognized by the Vatican in a 2018 provisional agreement that was renewed in 2020. Accordingly, the CCP names or appoints bishops for its state church; the Bishop of Rome approves thereafter. The CCP also runs one for Protestants, the Three-Self Church.
The Chinese Religious Affairs Bureau screens religious groups for official approval or disapproval, monitors membership in these organizations, controls locations of religious meetings and training, selects religious hierarchy, censors publication of religious materials, and funds approved religious activities. Those religious groups that do not submit to the government guidelines and are not willing to allow a secular and government agency to dictate its religious activities face severe consequences: surprise raids, heavy fines, imprisonment, torture and even revoking priestly/episcopal title as well as its duties regardless of Pope’s approval.
Click below to hear Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong Cardinal Jospeh Zen explain deal between the CCP and the Vatican
As reported in April by Radio Free Asia, CCP officials are detaining Christians in secretive and mobile “transformation” facilities to make them renounce their faith. Brainwashing methods include routine beatings, indoctrination, and solitary confinement designed to induce self-harm.
According to a report from the human rights magazine Bitter Winter, a self-professed Christian who is a member of the Church of Almighty God — a banned Christian sect in the country — anonymously described the torture tactics she had to endure, such as being made to stand for 18 hours a day for 14 consecutive days, during which the guard prohibited her from going to the toilet and ordered her to have meals while standing there. As she was given little food, she was always starved.
More seriously, the CCP is re-interpreting and annotating the Bible. The new translation will incorporate the core values of socialism and reflect the socialist characteristics of Christianity. As a result, the Bible becomes a socialist textbook, even if Chinese Christianity exist or completely wiped out — unlike the criticism by the U.S.-led West, including the Vatican, of Uyghur Muslims, there has been a deafening silence on the fate of Chinese Christians.
Muslim Countries in Support of China
One would think that because of Communist China’s atheistic doctrine, the Muslim world, including the Taliban, would repel the CCP’s advances. Numerous Islamic nations, however, have done just the opposite.
In July 2019, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and other Muslim-majority states helped to block a western motion at the United Nations, which called for China to allow “independent international observers” into the Xinjiang region. Knowing the taboos in criticizing Communist China, to be sure, the CCP will permit the ongoing violence and sexual exploitation of women and girls in Afghanistan, among other human rights violations, so long as the Taliban play ball with them.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.