Monday, September 5, 2016

The Rise of China-Afghanistan Security Relations

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 Pak-Afghan belt.