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By Hamid Shalizi and Josh Smith KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan and American officials are increasingly worried that any deepening of ties between Russia and Taliban militants fighting to topple the government in Kabul could complicate an already precarious security situation. Russian officials have denied they provide aid to the insurgents, who are contesting large swathes of territory and inflicting heavy casualties, and say their limited contacts are aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. Leaders in Kabul say Russian support for the Afghan Taliban appears to be mostly political so far.
President-elect Donald Trump has selected a political ally with close ties to China as ambassador to Beijing, stressed his determination to create US jobs and revealed he consulted with Barack Obama on his cabinet picks. Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, on Wednesday urged Washington to block President Tsai Ing-wen from passing through the United States after reports said she may stop in New York to meet the Trump team.