TERRORISM: China and Russia Navigate Shared Threat of Terrorism from Afghanistan
By Atal Ahmadzai – Observer Research Foundation
9th May 2023
China and Russia both seek closer ties with the Taliban in Kabul, even as they have refrained from fully recognising the regime. This brief explores China’s and Russia’s converging interests in Afghanistan, and argues that their primary concern is a shared existential threat of terrorism from Afghanistan.
Beijing and Moscow regard Afghanistan as a potential source of trans-regional instability, and they are adopting a pragmatic approach to contain the threat. The brief concludes that given the Taliban’s ideological orientation and a long-standing relationship with terrorist groups, China and Russia will not be able to easily break the synergies between the Taliban and regional and global terrorism.
They will have no option but to contain Afghanistan to thwart terrorism and protect their regional and global interests, mainly in Central Asia.
About Atal Ahmadzai
Dr. Atal Ahmadzai teaches International Relations at St. Lawrence University in New York. He specialises in issues of conflict, security, and development. As a scholar, he has systematically studied the governance systems of violent non-state actors in South Asia, including the Taliban. Born and raised in Kabul, he has over ten years of research experience in studying terrorism. His work has been published in academic journals, including Perspectives on Terrorism. His analyses have also appeared in various media outlets including Foreign Policy magazine, the Conversation, and Political Violence at a Glance. Learn More /…
About ORF (Observer Research Foundation)
ORF began its journey in 1990 at the juncture of ideation tempered by pragmatism. During the period of India’s transition to a new engagement with the international economic order, several challenges emerged, evoking a need for an independent forum that could critically examine the problems facing the country and help develop coherent policy responses. ORF was thus formed, and brought together, for the first time, leading Indian economists and policymakers to present the agenda for India’s economic reforms.
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