Monday, October 27, 2014

China's Afghan Policy

Red circle depicts the border area
between China and Afghanistan.
China has, over the past 13 years, taken a back seat in the Afghanistan war. However, that has changed in the past year, with an increase in Chinese diplomatic and economic activity within Afghanistan. Certainly there are a number of reasons for this. One driver for increased involvement with Afghanistan is the vast but untapped oil and mineral resources within the country. China already has made inroads both with the oil fields and a large copper mine. In addition to economic interests there are some security concerns. China's domination of the Turkic people of its western province of Xinjiang has resulted in a low-grade insurgency. The Uyghur resistance group has allied itself with terrorist groups from within Pakistan. There is concern that the Uyghur resistance group will spread and use Afghanistan as a safe haven as well if Afghan security deteriorates. Although the border between China and Afghanistan is not very long, it is not patrolled effectively by the Afghan Border Police (ABP). From a security standpoint, this porous border is a deep concern for China. Read more in "China's Afghanistan policy: Testing the limits of diplomacy", The Lowly Interpreter, October 24, 2014.

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