Since its founding in 2014, the Islamic State has always been hostile to China. China’s well-documented repression of Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang features often in IS propaganda, especially in South Asia.
That puts the Taliban in an awkward position.
Seeking international legitimacy and finance, the Taliban is carefully cultivating China. Beijing has reciprocated, inviting Taliban officials to visit several times since 2014. This past July, before Kabul had fallen to the Taliban, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warmly received the group’s leaders, telling them that Beijing expects they “deal resolutely” with Uyghur militants in Afghanistan.