Over the past two years, China-Afghan security cooperation has reached unprecedented levels.
By Ahmad Bilal Khalil
THE DIPLOMAT - June 23, 2016
Today’s China-Afghanistan security relations, under Afghanistan’s
National Unity Government (NUG), are closer than ever. The trend of
increasing Sino-Afghan security relations, along with good diplomatic
and economic relations, came after President Ashraf Ghani’s first trip
abroad — to China in October 2014. There, he was warmly received by
President Xi Jinping himself at the airport; during the visit, Ghani’s
Chinese counterpart announced $329 million in Chinese grants.
Since 2001, Beijing has been diplomatically and economically engaged
in Afghanistan; however, since the establishment of the NUG, it is now
slowly becoming practically engaged in Afghan security and defense
affairs as well.
Chinese security pledges and assistance are generally overestimated
by some Afghans, but, one thing is certain — this is just the beginning
of Chinese initiatives to help Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces (ANDSF). More Chinese assistance will be crucial if Beijing
really wants to successfully complete its One Belt, One Road initiative,
including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); remove its
concerns about the emergence of the Islamic State; and eliminate safe
havens for Uyghur militants in the region, particularly in the