Will US-China cooperation in Afghanistan benefit Afghans?


Will US-China cooperation in Afghanistan benefit Afghans?

Dr. Abdul Ruff




Conflicting goals in Afghanistan

The US Empire has got the unique capacity to use and dispose any nation for advancing its targeted national interest at a given circumstance. Now Washington is using a high profit seeking China by promising contracts in many sectors and it can end collaboration when the CIA objective is met.  Being too is fully aware of the secret plans of USA where it dumps its products, ignoring all objections of Washington.

The US and Chinese interests in Afghanistan overlap more than ever before. Much has been made of the country’s estimated $1 trillion in mineral reserves and China’s hopes of exploiting them. Current instability, however, has stalled some major Chinese projects. With its own economy slowing and the price of copper plummeting, China is far more concerned with ensuring Afghanistan doesn’t become a safe haven for Uighur Muslim “extremists” seeking religious freedom first to foment attacks in western Xinjiang province.  Chaos would gravely destabilize Pakistan, not to mention complicate China’s plans to integrate its markets with Central Asia’s through a new Silk Road.

All regional and international miscreants that have provided the Afghans joint troubles and logistics over the years need to ensure that Afghanistan remains mayhem to regional counties. After all, the continuity of the insecurity would have direct and indirect impact on these counties.  The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the intelligence organizations of Afghanistan and Pakistan has not yet been inked while copies of the signed MoU are circulating in the media.

What is required now therefore be a more comprehensive approach from neighboring countries including China, India, Russia and Saudi to think out of box, about durable peace in Afghanistan.

During a recent visit to the country, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized the importance of domestic stability in Afghanistan for the internal stability of China’s western province of Xinjiang. While China has seen opportunities for investment in Afghanistan, it is becoming increasingly apparent that its foreign policy towards the country is being driven more by security concerns.

In order to save Xinjiang, China would like US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan at the earliest so that it can directly negotiate its projects with Kabul.

Having “accomplished” their genocide target of Afghans in millions, Washington announced it was going to begin leaving slowly between mid-2011 to the end of 2014. However, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed to station an unknown number of the US military forces after 2014. Thousands of US forces still occupy Afghanistan and they would continue to do so for a long time to come.

Upon crippling the capabilities of Afghanistan by NATO occupational crime forces for over a full decade, in 2012, Barack Obama declared Afghanistan a Major non-NATO ally at par with Pakistan which has been “enjoying” that terror  “status” for nearly  8 years  before that. That could mean USA has got the right to occupy, oppress the nation permanently. In other words, Afghanistan has become a part of US Empire, requiring permission of CIA, as Pakistan has been for years, for any action regarding domestic or foreign policy matters. That is to say, Afghanistan, like neighboring Pakistan, has only semi-sovereignty as USA decides everything for these weak “Islamic” nations.

The USA and China both have said they have an interest in a peaceful and self-sustaining Afghanistan. On the diplomatic front, the USA, China, and Afghanistan have already been engaged in trilateral cooperation. The reasons for Chinese and US interest in Afghanistan are clear.  President Xi’s “One Belt One Road” development strategy envisions Chinese-built oil pipelines, telecom, and high-speed rail crossing Central Asia and bridging China, the Middle East, and Europe with Xinjiang as the hub. From China’s perspective, the shared border between Afghanistan and China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region means that China will continue to have a stake in its neighbor’s stability.  Further, the possibility that separatist Uyghur fighters may receive training in the lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border region presents China with a troublesome vulnerability.

Unlike USA, China does not seem to harbor any political objectives in Afghanistan. Without any political ambitions, China is eager to expand trade in South Asia and finds Afghanistan a ready land to promote it. China also eyes raw materials that are in abundance in Afghanistan under US control. USA as the official occupier decides who should get what from Afghanistan and at what price. Kabul’s puppet government just obliges its American bosses.

Now the impending withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan is seen by outside powers as a compelling opportunity for strategic cooperation among them. Troubled by territorial disputes and imbalanced trade, India, for instance, wants to use Afghanistan to come closer to China. Recent statements from China’s representative at the UN Security Council indicate a willingness to act as a mediator in Afghan peace and reconciliation process. China’s ambitions also present an opportunity for America to promote important security interests without compromising on core values.

Today, after years of US brutal occupation and genocides, now Afghanistan needs a government that can bring infrastructure, jobs, education, healthcare, and justice to its people for any lasting peace. Both the USA and China have made investments in Afghanistan’s development. China’s recent promise of $327 million (RMB 2 billion) to Afghanistan over the next two years is not insignificant; US assistance toward infrastructure in Afghanistan this year stands at $69 million.

Unlike USA, China does not seem to harbor any political objectives in Afghanistan. Without any political ambitions, China is eager to expand trade in South Asia and finds Afghanistan a ready land to promote it. China also eyes raw materials that are in abundance in Afghanistan under US control. USA as the official occupier decides who should get what from Afghanistan and at what price. Kabul’s puppet government just obliges its American bosses.

With Russia, Chinese priories are on arms procurement.  With America, China pursues pro- export friendly relations. In some areas China, like Russia, cooperates and even coordinates with US/NATO operations. Russia is not happy about the US tricks to divide Russo-Chinese military bond. China’s evolving policies toward Afghanistan hardly illustrate a fast rising super power of Asia bent on territorial expansion and could be a possible area of Washington-Beijing cooperation.

The National Unity Government (NUG) of Afghanistan led by President Ghani is facing insecurities, political uncertainties, and unemployment. The government is tilting and flexing their foreign policy towards Pakistan in hope of peace and security that could be attained with their support. President Ashraf Ghani has offered Pakistan exceptional opportunity to work out peace for them. Pakistan may want Afghanistan not to use its territory and institutions against its national interest but Afghans would expect the same. Keeping Pakistan and the Taliban at bay in Afghanistan is paramount for India.   India wants to exchange views with China on their mutual concerns in Afghanistan.

While Pakistan believes it can control Afghanistan  in future no matter who would rule  it because of its historical and cultural affinity with Afghans, uncertainties abound in how exactly India and China will approach Afghanistan, but what remains certain is that Afghanistan will continue to be a nexus of geopolitical interest for its neighbors. Intelligence cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad is said to have improved. China is more likely than either of them to influence Pakistan’s support for the Taliban insurgency.

China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan and seek deeper cooperation with world’s super power USA but Americans very tactfully use all of them  and would not hesitate to drop  them one by one once the set objective is reached..

Pakistan is central to Afghanistan’s fate, although India also claims the same.  The overwhelming strategic objective of Pakistan in Afghanistan is to undermine Kabul’s ability to govern the rest of the country and maintain Afghanistan as a subordinate backyard just like Azad Kashmir which it controls. This objective is incompatible with China’s interests in Afghanistan and will likely lead to some friction between these allies.

Against the wishes of Russia, USA is maintaining secret agenda for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Asian powers also nurturing their own interests in Afghanistan. South India’s plans to build ports, roads and pipelines to Central Asia through Pakistan and Afghanistan, China’s Silk Road project and a separate corridor planned to Pakistan.  Similar to China, the Indian government and Indian investors have shown great interest in emerging opportunities in Afghanistan in mining, hydrocarbons, infrastructure development, and other sectors.

As the only global super power, USA obviously wants to control every nation globally and would punish any nation that denies that privilege as a dutiful favor to Washington. Afghanistan was or is not a strong nation to refuse USA its “right” or privilege to take advantage of its global status in occupying and destabilizing it.

Even after  killing millions of Afghans in Afghanistan alone as part of weakening  Islamic Afghanistan by NATO terror attacks and occupational crimes, Americans still claim Afghanistan and the United States have a very strong and friendly strategic partnership and their bilateral ties in the last decade have become stronger than ever before. This is the usual Western triclomatic justification for all NATO crimes globally.  Further, according to BBC, the USA was the most favored country in Afghanistan. This is the cruelest joke by western media lords.

Notwithstanding all secret deals, US officials remain wary of China’s spreading influence in Asia. President Barack Obama issued the latest warning in his State of the Union speech. , However, the USA should be aiming to increase rather than diminish Beijing’s role in the conflict in Afghanistan.

In the long run, no solution in Afghanistan will be possible until all sides look at Afghans as humans not requiring imperialist attacks from western ”civilized” world. All power games, including the Silk Road goals and oil routes, should not be at the cost of life of ordinary Afghans. The big powers must resolve their unnecessary “strategic suspicions” about Afghans and immediately build rapprochement with them. How far, however, getting China more involved peaceful construction operations in Afghanistan could hasten the domestic rapprochement remains to be seen. .

Today China devotes its policy priorities to secure its global interests and for which it can align with any big or small nations.   A dominant policy of Beijing has been to keep itself away from problems that do not concern Chinese interests directly. On some issues, like the so-called US war on terrorism China extents supports only indirectly although it is no friend of Islam. The way it suppresses the religious rights of Chinese Muslims even during the Holy month of Ramadan reveals the intent of China in Afghanistan.

(Concluded. Soon there will be a connected article “Future of Afghanistan”)



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