China-India: Chinese media reported that India and China have agreed to start a dialogue on Afghanistan. An “in-principle” agreement on official-level dialogue has been reached and dates for the first meeting are being worked out.
Earlier this week, Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon travelled to Moscow for the first three-way dialogue between India, Russia and China on Afghanistan in an effort to build on common security concerns. At present, India has an institutionalized dialogue on Afghanistan only with the US.
Comment: The news commentary noted that China first offered India a wider dialogue on South Asia in general. India declined to hold talks about what it considers its sphere of influence with its primary competitor.
Afghanistan is different because India and China share an interest in preventing the return of the Taliban or another extremist Islamist regime. India was a primary backer of the Northern Alliance tribes that fought the Pashtun Taliban before the US intervention in late 2001.
As for China, Mullah Omar’s Taliban regime allowed terrorism training for Uighur Islamic separatists from Xinjiang, China, and rejected Chinese inducements to terminate it. China is Pakistan’s most important ally, but Pakistan also did nothing to stop the Uighur training by the very Taliban regime that Pakistan supported.
Phi Beta Iota: A century late, and what should have been done to keep the US out of Afghanistan. The rest of the world is starting to ignore or route around the US Government (not to be confused with the Republic locked in the closet or America the Beautiful that has been sidelined). Around the world, in every region, the US Government is now seen for what it has been for all too long: ignorant, arrogant, and impotent expect in the most dangerous way, as an angry ill-manneded child holding a box of matches. Kerry and Hagel are place-holders. The US public is slowly organizing to oust the two-party tyranny from the legislature in 2014 and the White House in 2016. It may take longer than that, but one thing is clear: no one in the two-party political hierarchy represents the public interest.