ISAFISPEAK #9 : China, Afghanistan, and The Belt Road Initiative: Diplomacy and Reality

Published by ISAFIS on

On this ISAFISPEAK our members will give you their opinions on The Belt and Road Initiative. Let’s proceed to read their opinions!


“Geographically, Afghanistan is at a crossroads between Asia and Europe and vice versa. Its strategic position greatly facilitates the connectivity, especially for the Belt & Road Initiatives project.”

“China will certainly carry out a balance of power by establishing good relations with the Taliban as the current power through aid & assistance. China’s charm offensive will be carried out; moreover, both the Taliban and China have the same competitor, i.e., the United States. China will run the balance of power through BRI to fulfil china’s geopolitics and geo-economics in Central Asia.”

“China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has made reassuring remarks about China’s respect for Taliban, but he’s also issued strong signals about what China expects and what concerns them.”

“Although China has clear security interests in Afghanistan and probably will attempt to exploit its mineral resources, we should have low expectations for the scope of that effort. China will be aware that the Taliban’s ability to keep promises is low, as it has proven in its relations with the Afghan government on numerous occasions.”

“China’s humanitarian aid for Afghanistan should not be regarded as a mere response to the crisis taking place in the region. Tracing back to months before the Taliban takeover, China has long placed its bedrock of actions by showing its profound interest in some investment opportunities in Afghanistan, including the oil and copper mining contracts and its intention to expand influence related to the BRI programme.”

“China is, in fact, one of the first countries to send its assistance, which includes 31 million dollars and millions of vaccine doses, just in the nick of time when the Afghans are fighting against day-to-day starvation and other basic human needs’ deprivation. It’s such a shame that we have only recently come to the epiphany that aside from dealing with the Taliban, where is a whole populations that should be helped.”

“China’s BRI programme has become an important program to support economic connectivity. After the US departed from Afghanistan, China saw the potential of this programme, especially in the Central Asia region. In running this program, China should maintain political stability, for instance China promised emergency aid to Afghanistan.”

“In addition, Afghanistan also has a prominent part in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor/CPEC (part of BRI). By concerning Afghanistan, this CPEC Program will be extended and impactful to Afghanistan. On the other hand, China is well aware of Afghanistan’s vast mineral resources. In short, through China’s interest, it is natural for China to support the BRI economic support to Afghanistan.”

“Well yes, they should still provide the Eco-Support for them. Here’s the thing, China’s policy towards the Taliban is misunderstood in so many ways. Actually the new relations between China and Kabul may instead, accelerate the development of China’s flagship connectivity program in the region, but indeed, without a proper investigation and evolutions, the Taliban regime may not be able to implement the soft BRI, which involves things related to education and proper development in instrumental understanding.”

“And well, it is true that the Taliban needs to address the rule of law, especially in order to attract large-scaled investment. It is still doubtful to me that the Taliban could manage to develop the so-called Soft BRI, as how it needs a major instrumental change in Taliban’s regime, economically and politically.”