In a first visit to Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last August, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke about economic cooperation between the two countries, and renewed his call to the U.S. to end sanctions.
The UN Security Council meeting followed multilateral talks with the Taliban in Oslo, designed to illicit human rights assurances from the Islamist extremists in exchange for releasing needed liquidity and aid money into the country. With Norway as host, a 15-member contingent of the Taliban, humanitarian aid groups, and diplomats from the U.S., UK, and France, met for three days of closed-door sessions at a hotel outside the capital.
Too often, human rights, both as jargon and as a type of imperial ideology, have been used as political justification for constant militarized efforts to supersede the barriers of national sovereignty.
The “Graveyard of Empires” seems a fitting name for the nation. Afghanistan does not destroy them; it measures their willingness to fight for their interests and, thus, their vitality. It is the heart of Asia, it is a barren land of blood and dust, the ultimate test of ambition.