As officials visit Afghanistan, China is looking for an opportunity to fill a “power vacuum.”
Following 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, China is apparently closing in on the country and attempting to expand its influence in the region.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will begin a journey to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to discuss China’s Central Asian aspirations as it prepares to move in on Afghanistan after a 20-year presence by Western troops. The decision adds to rising concerns that China is seeking greater influence and authority in the area as it expands its reach beyond its own boundaries.
Palki Sharma, host of the WION news channel, said: “As the deadline for the complete withdrawal of US troops approaches, China is pushing quickly to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan and Central Asia.”
“According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Wany Yi has been invited by the three countries.
“On the 13th and 14th of July, the Chinese foreign minister will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe (Tajikistan).”
“India, Pakistan, and Russia are among the SCO’s other members, as are some of Afghanistan’s closest neighbors and regional powers.”
The report comes after Zhouchen Mao, Asia-Pacific Analyst for A K E International, a worldwide risk and security consultancy organization, and expert in China’s Foreign Policy at SOAS University London, detailed how Central Asia is a major focus for China in an interview with This website in June.
“Central Asia is certainly one of, if not the top priority of the Chinese in terms of their ‘neighbourhood policy,” Mr Mao added.
“China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an excellent illustration of how it has used so-called infrastructure initiatives to draw Central Asian republics closer to its orbit.”
Beijing said in 2019 that it plans to connect Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a £45 billion infrastructure project that will eventually connect Pakistan and Central Asian energy markets.
In May, China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, stated 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.
Analysts point out, however, that it stands to gain more than the West in terms of economic, political, and security.
East Asia expert Alessio Patalano of King’s College London told This website on Monday: “Unlike the West, China doesn’t have the option to ignore.”Brinkwire Summary News