China could prove ultimate winner in Afghanistan: Report
Tokyo: China, a witness to the conflict in Afghanistan, is stepping up its involvement in the country as US-led forces are preparing to withdraw.
China’s move comes after being attracted by the country’s vast mineral resources, but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own territory.
Cheered on by the US and other Western governments, which see Asia’s giant as a potentially stabilizing force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan, having shed no blood and not much aid, the Japan Times reports.
Lack of security still remains a key challenge. Chinese enterprises have already won three multibillion-dollar investment projects, but they will not be able to go forward unless conditions get safer there.
According to the report, Beijing signed a strategic partnership last summer with the war-torn country. This was followed in September with a trip to Kabul by its top security official, the first by a leading Chinese government figure in 46 years, and the announcement that China would train 300 Afghan police officers.
China is also showing signs of willingness to help negotiate a peace agreement as NATO prepares to pull out in two years, the report said.
Over the past decade, China’s trade has boomed with Afghanistan’s resource-rich neighbours in Central Asia.
For Turkmenistan, China trade reached 21 percent of GDP in 2011, up from 1 percent five years earlier, according to an analysis of International Monetary Fund data.
The equivalent figure for Tajikistan is 32 percent of GDP, versus 12 percent in 2006. China’s trade with Afghanistan stood at a modest 1.3 percent of GDP in 2011.
The Chinese are also showing interest in investing in hydropower, agriculture and construction. Preliminary talks have been held about a direct road link to China across the remote 76-km-long border between the two countries, according to Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry.
Wang Lian, a Central Asia expert at Beijing University, notes that superpowers have historically been involved in Afghanistan because it is an Asian crossroads, and China would be no exception.
He said that a stable Afghanistan is vital to the security of Xinjiang in the far west of China, where Islamic militants are seeking independence.
The Afghan government has backed off from earlier criticism that the Chinese were not contributing their share to security and reconstruction of the country, the report added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?