Photo: Matti Blume, Licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0

Huawei to provide the Taliban with advanced surveillance systems

The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has agreed to help the Taliban install advanced surveillance systems in all provinces of Afghanistan.

Ariana News Agency reported on Tuesday that the Taliban plans to install advanced CCTV systems in all provinces of Afghanistan, with the help of Huawei representatives in the country.

RANE News Agency stated in a report that the agreement apparently underlines China’s willingness to engage with the Taliban to mitigate the potential spillover of instability and security threats, particularly from militant groups like Islamic State Khorasan Province and the Turkistan Islamic Party.

The CCTV systems could also give China access to foreign facial recognition databases to utilize for its own domestic security efforts.

According to the report, the Taliban’s interest in countering the threat of militant attacks and its desire to partner with well-resourced countries like China is also driving the group’s engagement with China.

China has not recognized the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, but it has maintained a growing diplomatic and economic relationship with the group since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021.

In April, a Chinese company offered $10 billion to the Taliban for access to Afghanistan’s large lithium deposits. In January, the Taliban and another Chinese company signed a $540 million deal to extract oil from northern Afghanistan’s Amu Darya basin.