As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, China is set to fill the void.

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As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, China is set to fill the void.

Experts have warned that China is preparing to fill the void left by the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan. A China-Pakistan-Afghanistan axis, if it succeeds, might push India to reconsider its ties with the West.

Experts have warned that China is preparing to fill the void left by the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan. A China-Pakistan-Afghanistan axis, if it succeeds, might push India to reconsider its ties with the West.

As the last remaining US troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents boasted Wednesday that they control 85 percent of the country’s territory.

Though Afghan officials disputed the reports, they verified that emboldened Taliban insurgents had taken control of a key region in Herat province as well as Torghundi, a northern town on the Turkmenistan border.

Beijing has been “biding its time” in the war-torn country, weighing the risks and benefits of political and potentially military intervention.

Analysts point out, however, that it stands to gain more than the West in terms of economic, political, and security.

China has already reaped the benefits of the 20-year Western military presence in northern Afghanistan; in 2007, it signed a 30-year lease to mine copper and has a £300 million petroleum project in the Amu Darya basin.

On the border, a Chinese mountain brigade is being trained, and Beijing declared in 2019 that it intends to link Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a £45 billion series of infrastructural projects that will eventually connect Pakistan and Central Asian energy markets.

China’s envoy to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, stated in May that the country was working with the Kabul administration on the “Belt and Road Initiative” to resurrect a section of the Silk Road in Afghanistan.

The country is located on the intended center belt – or “five countries railway” – that will stretch from China to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean, as well as the planned northern “belt” that will extend through Central Asia to Russia and Europe.

Afghanistan’s government responded by confirming plans to construct a £4 million, 50-kilometer roadway over difficult terrain to allow Afghans to travel to China for the first time in history.

While China does not support the Taliban, which it has labeled a terrorist organization, it may change its mind if Afghanistan’s government, led by Prime Minister Ashraf Ghani, falls.

“We’ve demonstrated a shocking lack of strategic thinking.” Brinkwire Summary News

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