By Angela Stanzel
China Policy Institute – September 5, 2016
China’s role in Afghanistan is gradually evolving towards more engagement in various areas. This increasing engagement reflects both China’s concerns about the deterioration of security in Afghanistan since large numbers of international security forces withdrew from the country in 2014, and its interest in benefiting from a reconstructed Afghanistan. Last year, the Taliban controlled up to 70 districts (out of the country’s 398), unexpectedly even including Kunduz for a brief period. The Taliban’s 2016 “Spring Offensive” – a series of attacks the group launches each year after the end of winter – included a major bombing in Kabul in April, which killed and injured more than 400 people. In June, security guards at the Canadian embassy in Kabul were attacked; in July, the Taliban drove a truckload of explosives into a foreign military facility; in August, militants stormed the campus of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.