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Belt and Road

Afghanistan peace talks open way for China's Belt and Road

As US looks to end its longest war, Beijing cultivates ties with Taliban

ISLAMABAD -- As the U.S. and Afghanistan's Taliban militants head toward a long-awaited peace deal, China and its Belt and Road Initiative are looming larger over the Central Asian country's future.

The U.S. and the Taliban "seem to be close to an agreement which, for the first time, could bring a cease-fire after 18 years," said a Western diplomat in Islamabad who spoke to the Nikkei Asian Review on condition of anonymity. But even before the peace talks picked up this year, China had been hosting Taliban representatives in Beijing since 2017, according to two senior Pakistani government officials who also did not wish to be identified.

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