China Matters has pieces up at Asia Times and Counterpunch under the pen name “Peter Lee”.
The Asia Times piece, Taliban Force a China Switch, concerns indications that must worry Beijing that the Taliban has discarded a central pillar of traditional foreign policy in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan: the relative immunity of Chinese citizens and interests to attack.
The piece also looks at China’s recent approach to the Pakistan Islamist party, Jamaat-i-Islaami, and speculates that Beijing might be establishing a channel to Afghan warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who has a history of working through JI in the past as his interlocutor with the ISI and the Pakistani government.
Further information on Hekmatyar—and the concerted efforts to woo him into the Karzai government, efforts that have received some encouragement from the U.K. and the U.S.—can be found at Counterpunch.
If this report from via the Pakistani media on March 9 is true, Hekmatyar’s road to America’s good graces has suddenly become a lot rockier:
KABUL: Hizb-e-Islami Monday claimed killing 19 US troops in Lughman province of Afghanistan.
The organization of former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Khan attacked a convoy of US soldiers in Tehsil Shang of Lughman province, killing 12 troops.
Three US tanks were also destroyed in the clash which continued for two hours.
The militants of Hizb-e-Islami also killed 7 US troops in district Burqi of Logar province when they were searching houses.