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India’s World – China’s interests in Afghanistan

Summary:

  • As the US withdraws its combat troops from Afghanistan, most regional players will have to recalibrate their policies to protect their national interests in that country.
  • China recently hosted the meeting of foreign ministers from Russia and Central Asian countries as a part of what is called as Istanbul process. This was to discuss the post 2014 scenario in Afghanistan.
  • China has both commercial and security interests in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s vast natural resources present great investment opportunities for china. Afghanistan also has significant oil and gas reserves.
  • It is also estimated to have 1 trillion untapped mineral resources such as Copper, Gold and lithium.
  • Afghanistan also represents a threat to china if it becomes safe haven for the Uyghur Islamic separatists from China’s Xinjiang province.
  • China’s way of looking at Afghanistan is also a look predicated by its relationship with Pakistan.
  • China could well shoulder the responsibility of helping Afghanistan.
  • If China does not cut a deal with Taliban, eastern Afghanistan could become a staging post for Uyghur Islamists.
  • Afghanistan is also interested in involving china in solving its internal political problems.
  • Chinese strongly believe that the economic development is a panacea for political problems.
  • 70% of Afghanistan population lives under poverty.
  • Afghanistan also has rare earth mineral reserves.
  • Security threat to china actually comes from Taliban.
  • China also seems to be interested in involving Afghanistan in the central Asian pipeline network.
  • China is hoping to employ a multilateral approach in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Chinese primary objective is to stabilize Afghanistan and then exploit the resources available there.
  • Pakistan poses a fundamental problem to stabilization in Afghanistan and Afghanistan is seeking to leverage its china connection to resolve this problem.
  • It is also being said that it is very difficult to stabilize situation in Afghanistan without the help from Pakistan.