China’s Attempt To Bring Afghanistan Into The BRI
China is working with Pakistan in hopes that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could earn it wider influence in the region.
To get that, Beijing is urging Pakistan to help bring the Afghans to play a bigger role in the China-Pakistan Corridor.
The idea of a “trilateral cooperation” between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan is shaped by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang may have found a pot of gold after all. Afghanistan, with a resurgent Taliban, may fall into the hands of the Islamic forces.
If that were to happen, Afghanistan will become another country in the American list of pariah nations. The Taliban will definitely find themselves the victim of unjust retribution from the Americans.
The U.S. defeated the Taliban in a one-way battle with its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. After dislodging the Taliban, the U.S. planted a regime that is merely at its service.
But all may change if the Taliban conquers more territory. Which they are currently doing.
The current regime in Kabul may also alter its allegiance after the U.S. troop pullout. It may ally with the Pakistanis and in such an alliance, it may also engage with China.
What China’s Wang is offering is a more “just and reasonable” global governance. Any Afghan government will need such a global ‘governance’ to survive.
If the Americans are not offering such a just cause, the Chinese are. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan will need the support of China, financially and technologically, to survive against India, the strong American ally.
This is just an example of the pot of gold China has uncovered in Afghanistan.
Now, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a major element of the Belt and Road Initiative. The BRI is China’s big plan for the future. It is about trade routes, connected by sea and land and involving massive investment from China.
South China Morning Post says it well.
“In recent years, China has been attempting to expand its influence beyond the economic sphere. Part of its attempts to expand its role is to boost relations with Afghanistan through CPEC, which includes a network of roads, ports, oil and gas pipelines and optical fibre cables,” says the paper.
The Taliban, however, is putting China’s plans on hold in the ‘corridor’. Believe it or not, China would not mind seeing the Taliban in power in Kabul.
This may simply mean more military engagements for the People’s Liberation Army that may put boots on the ground in some uncharted territories.
With the Americans out of Afghanistan, another superpower has to take over to gain leverage. Russia is trying, but China seems to have a better chance.