The Kachin Post / September 19, 2021
China has been outlining plans to extend their CPEC partnership to US $ 60billion with Afghanistan included in the picture. While the rest of the world is concerned for the safety of the Afghan people as Taliban takes over the country.
China has shown keenness to work with them and to recognize them as a legitimate government without any preconditions on human rights issues. It is definitely not surprising that China is keen as the CPEC is simply a long ruse to get access to Afghanistan for an oil pipeline and sway their loyalty towards China instead of India.
China has always claimed that they’re uninterested in the internal matters of a country and would rather do business and only focus on those terms and conditions. This is an obvious ruse to get unstable countries and leaders doing unfair deals out of desperation to keep the public from starting a revolution. Often wrapped as economic growth and opportunity is a desire to control key resources such as strategic ports and mineral mines among other things.
Afghanistan has important copper mines which are worth trillions. 60$ billion worth of investment is pocket change if China can have access to the copper. U.S former diplomat Nikki Haley had already expressed concern about the US pulling out of Afghanistan as China would attempt to control the Bagram air base to get an upper hand in the region. It is also an attempt to check the growth of India, the only other country capable of checking China’s growth in the region and one with which Afghanistan has close economic and cultural ties.
While all the world is trying to negotiate terms and conditions of legitimizing the Taliban rule. Especially since no other local leader can exist that can question the Taliban’s legitimacy and squash Taliban in general, which is a mammoth task that the US has failed to do as well in the 20 years it was there. More or less Taliban is the de facto government in Afghanistan and the world is clamouring to save refugees from them especially women and children. It has been reported that Taliban has already started forcibly marrying women to their soldiers and to avoid detection or potentially being beheaded women are burning their degrees and other documents that prove they are educated women with agency.
The Netherlands is keen to help take more refugees out on flights from the Kabul airport and willing to pledge 1$ million for the efforts. Europe in general wants to help build Afghanistan to avoid another insurgency of refugees as was the case in 2015 with Syrian refugees. There is also Islamophobic sentiment that the Afghan refugees are on the receiving end of and are thus struggling with a lack of willingness from the world to welcome them in.
Despite the destabilization and regime change it would be in the world’s interest to help Afghanistan build itself up if for no other reason than to avoid an influx of refugees and countering China from swooping in and taking the lion’s share once again. This situation is also a great lesson for the west in how not to leave a country lest they want other regional powers which are anti-west taking over the power vacuum they left behind.
The article is contributed by N.B Chyoi. He is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China. The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.