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Thread: China's role in Afghanistan

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default China's role in Afghanistan

    We've touched upon China's investments in mineral exploitation in Afghanistan and IIRC their security interests - so along comes this rather unusual sign:
    China has signed security and economic agreements with Afghanistan during a rare trip to Kabul by a top Chinese official....Zhou Yongkang, China’s domestic security chief and a member of the ruling Communist Party’s central Politburo, made an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital late on Saturday, holding talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his garden palace.

    Zhou’s visit was the first to Afghanistan by a senior Chinese leader since 1966 and followed a visit by Karzai to Beijing in June when both countries agreed to cooperate on combating extremism in the region... Zhou signed agreements on increased security and economic cooperation, including a deal to help “train, fund and equip Afghan police.”
    Link:http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other...s_DdcQ.twitter and a slightly different report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19693005

    I thought we had problems with the archaeologists, no Afghanistan does too:
    Chinese state-owned miner China Metallurgical Group (MCC) operates the $3 billion Aynak copper mine in eastern Logar province, which has been subject to rocket attacks and other raids by insurgent groups looking to disrupt operations. MCC won the contract to develop Aynak in 2008 and it was originally scheduled to begin production in 2013, but work has been delayed by the discovery of a huge and significant archaeological site in the area.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-23-2012 at 07:17 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Background

    Rediscovered two recent articles by a China-based analyst, Raffaello Pantucci on this matter:http://raffaellopantucci.com/2012/06...-neighborhood/ and http://raffaellopantucci.com/2012/08...n-afghanistan/
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Beijing's policy shifts

    Raffaello Pantucci's latest column on China's role in Afghanistan:http://raffaellopantucci.com/2012/11...om-the-ground/

    A taster:
    Whilst it is clear that China sees the importance of Pakistan in any long-term solution in Afghanistan, it is also increasingly clear that Beijing is concerned about how security in Pakistan continues to deteriorate. It thus seems likely that China’s growing focus on Afghanistan is at least in part out of recognition that it can no longer simply abrogate its strategy toward Kabul to Islamabad—a default setting Beijing previously employed. As the security situation in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) continues to muddle along in a negative direction, Beijing now has realized that it must do more to stabilize its restive neighbor.
    It would have been interesting to have been a "fly on the wall" at this event:
    In May, China and the United States jointly hosted a two-week training session for a group of some 15 young Afghan diplomats
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default China in Afghanistan, a tale of two mines

    Beijing clearly has to re-think what it is going to do once 2014 passes. Afghanistan’s proximity to China and the potential knock-on implications in central Asia where China has invested a great deal make it is impossible to ignore.

    China may not want to be dragged into Afghanistan’s interminable problems, but it seems impossible to imagine that they are not going to play some role. What this role ends up being is something that the new administration needs to calculate sooner than it wants.
    Link:http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/201...-of-two-mines/
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default

    From the article cited above...

    With the news that the field in Afghanistan is now producing, it looks like CNPC has cemented its position as a key investor in Afghanistan. The 25-year contract the company has signed has it extracting 1.5m barrels per year, and it is currently looking to extract 1,950 per day.
    Key for Afghanistan perhaps, but 1.5 million barrels a year isn't exactly key for China, which in 2011 imported roughly 5 million barrels a day. 1.5 million per year would barely be a half drop in a bucket.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default China’s Post-2014 Role in Afghanistan

    A report from FDD (Washington DC think tank):http://defenddemocracy.org/content/u...ina_Report.pdf

    One almost wonders will China reach detente with the anticipated resurgence of the Taliban, as the authors expect. I am unsure if Afghans will welcome the Chinese if they move beyond being investors.
    davidbfpo

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    China may or may not be able to "stabilize Afghanistan" at some point in the future, but I suspect that unlike Uncle Sam, they know how to count money and will not spend trillions to get peanuts in return. No free rides from Uncle Ching. Pax Sinica may even work.
    We can always hope.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Can China bring peace to Afghanistan?

    Ahmed Rashid comments in a BBC News Viewpoint, which appears to be based on an interview with the new Chinese Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30273431?
    davidbfpo

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