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China And The Taliban
Afghanistan is one of 14 countries that share China's immense borders.

OCTOBER 26, 2001—Anti-China journalists continue to spread rumors that China is in league with the Taliban, despite the complete lack of any substantiated evidence to support their claims and the official support of the Chinese government for the American led war on terrorism.

"China has no relations of any kind with the Taliban."
—Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement

Although not new to the Sinomania! anti-China club, the newspapers and web sites mentioned in this article move up a notch higher in the Anti-China Hall of Shame.

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    The most recent assertion is a report from the Hindustan Times of India that the Taliban commander-in-chief said China is helping them fight the USA. The story follows a rumor that Chinese troops were found dead alongside Taliban fighters after American air strikes, which was posted by the "Debka Files," an extremist web site registered in Israel but hosted by a company in Canada. The Debka files piece is featured at the conservative WorldNet Daily web site.
      Reports of alleged cooperation between China and the Taliban began when two respected American newspapers asserted that China had signed diplomatic agreements with Taliban leaders just before the events of September 11, 2001. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal (via its subsidiary the Asian Wall Street Journal), newspapers with openly anti-China editorial biases, reported that China was in a "drive to strengthen ties with the Taliban." The allegation is that an agreement was signed shortly before the terrorist attacks on the USA for China to offer economic and technical assistance to the Taliban regime. CNN ran the unsubstantiated item and posted at least one anti-China editorial on the subject. As the story circulated, the timing of the alleged agreement changed so that, insult upon insult, it was supposedly signed on September 11. Where did this item come from? Supposedly it was first published by a Pakistani newspaper and a state-run newspaper in Afghanistan.
      The most fantastic rumors have come from the British newspaper The Guardian, also well-known for bombastic views on China. This past Saturday, October 20, 2001, a journalist that covers Europe alleged in The Guardian that the Chinese paid Osama bin Laden millions of dollars for unexploded American Tomahawk missiles that fell on Afghanistan during air strikes in 1998. The sole evidence for the claim are transcripts of a "secretly taped conversation" of a 32 year-old Libyan named Lased Ben Heni, supposedly a "senior Al Qaeda agent" who was under surveillance by Italian "anti-terrorist police" in Milan. This story was picked up by The Taipei Times which gave an appropriately cloak-and-dagger mood to the piece by reporting that the conversations occurred in a "run down flat". Most absurdly, it was reported in The Guardian on September 22, 2001, that Osama bin Laden escaped from Afghanistan and entered into China where he went into hiding.

      The Chinese government has consistently denied any involvement whatsoever with the Taliban and has described each of the reports mentioned in this article as "baseless," "groundless," and a "complete fabrication." Of The Guardian newspaper, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said in September "I wonder what the motives of the Guardian's correspondents are to spread such a rumor at such a time." When asked about the report of China paying millions for American missiles, in a press conference held October 23, 2001, Zhu reiterated that "China has no relations of any kind with the Taliban." In point of fact, China has had no diplomatic presence in Afghanistan whatsoever since the Chinese embassy there closed in 1993.

     Of course official statements from the Chinese government are dismissed by anti-China journalists and sinophobic bigots the world over as mere lies. But if China is lying how then can the words of President George W. Bush be believed when he said at a press conference in Shanghai that "President Jiang and the government stand side by side with the American people as we fight this evil force"?
     And, despite accepted opinion to the contrary, China's commitment goes beyond words. It is important to understand that China shares a physical border with Afghanistan and has been dealing with Afghani-sponsored terrorism for years. China founded, in 1996, the "Shanghai Five" now known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an international alliance specifically dedicated to combating terrorism originating from Afghanistan.
     The common thread that runs through all of the reports of alleged Chinese involvement with the Taliban is that they come from the Taliban itself. Their intent, quite obviously, is to play upon the suspicions and fears of a rising China that dominated foreign policy in the pre September 11, 2001, world. The deliberate fostering of these rumors by anti-China zealots questions not only their integrity as journalists but their own belief in the seriousness of the War on Terrorism.

Information from Agencies, Sinomania! research were used in this report.

Note: The Guardian's source for this accusation is Gordon Thomas, a wannabe intelligence "expert" who mostly writes novels and movie and television screenplays. He is currently writing a book to be published by an American Christian Zionist press, that claims China was behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.
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