Saturday, November 15, 2014
China as Negotiator?
China has been slowly taking a more active role in the affairs of Afghanistan. It has some vital interests in the establishment of a secure and stable Afghanistan. Its pursuit of an economic corridor (call it the New Silk Road?) from China, across Central Asia, and into the Middle East and Europe is seen as good for the export of Chinese goods. It is experiencing problems with a jihadist insurgent group (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) in its most western province of Xinjiang (which shares a border with Afghanistan) and China wants to preclude this group from enjoying sanctuary in Afghanistan's remote and ungovernable regions. To that end China appears to be willing to take an active role in the conduct of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Read more on this topic in "Could China Broker Talks Between the Afghan Government and the Taliban?", The Diplomat, November 12, 2014.