The Afghan Badakhshan province shares a common
border with the China’s Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region. It was
part of the ancient Silk Road
linking Asia with Europe. The Silk Road is to re-emerge to make provide aid to rebuild infrastructure
and enhance security.
needs stable supplies of raw materials from Afghanistan.
Beijing is to invest
$55 billion to create an economic corridor going via
Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. China is the Afghanistan’s largest trading partner able to make
much desired investments. According to its “One
Belt, One Road” (OBOR) project, a big infrastructure is to be
built in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Stability in Afghanistan meets the China’s interests but
there is little hope the United States can bring it. After all, it has not achieved any
substantial gains since 2001. There have been surges and reductions, changes of
tactics and strategy, numerous reports on how to change the tide but the
Taliban is strong, economy is still in shambles with and drugs trafficking
being the only business thriving. So far, the Trump administration has not
presented a long-awaited strategy defining its Afghanistan policy, despite the
fact that there are 8400 American troops in the country. The presence will
increase soon. The US relationships with pertinent actors, such as Pakistan, are in shambles.
Washington has suspended military aid to that country.
The instability in Afghanistan threatens the OBOR’s flagship project –
the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China has undertaken the role of
mediator to boost security in the region. Beijing is working hard to improve the Afghanistan-Pakistan
relations. It arranged a tripartite
meeting at foreign ministers level in 2017. The talks working
panels to promote cooperation in various areas.
Another meeting is expected to take place this
year in Kabul.
Turkistan Islamic Movement, a Uighur
nationalist and Islamic movement from China’s Xinjiang region, is operating in Afghanistan. The militants gain
combat experience fighting side by side with the Taliban and other militant
and China step up military aid to Central Asian states. They believe that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO) can substantially contribute into achieving peaceful settlement. Both are
trying to bring together regional states. Moscow and Beijing are motivated by
their national interests, which coincide. As major powers they are working
together to promote security in Afghanistan and Central Asia.