The Trump administration is reportedly moving to declassify unconfirmed intelligence that China offered to pay non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack American troops.
Two senior administration officials told Axios that the intelligence was included in President Donald Trump’s Dec. 17 briefing.
Axios was not able to visually inspect any reports on the intelligence but a summary of it was described over the phone.
“The U.S. has evidence that the [People’s Republic of China] attempted to finance attacks on American serviceman by Afghan non-state actors by offering financial incentives or ‘bounties,’” one official said.
The administration is currently working to corroborate the report, and the official said the National Security Council “is coordinating a whole-of-government investigation.”
If the report is found to be true, it could escalate tensions between China and the United States. If it is not, it would raise questions about the sources behind the intelligence.
Andrew Small, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund who specializes in China-Afghanistan affairs, told Axios it seemed “incongruous” that China would take this action.
Pursuing peace in Afghanistan is “one of the extremely rare areas where the U.S. and China still have a willingness to work together on an area of importance,” he said.
“They know the drawdown is taking place. We’re not in the context where anything else needs to happen to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. There is no reason to create additional pressure on U.S. forces.”
This is an excerpt from Westernjournal