Staff Sgt. Brandon Aird, 173rd ABCT PAO via Wikimedia Commons

Per my previous analysis, it is extremely likely that Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be big winners from President Biden’s reckless and ill-advised retreat from Afghanistan. There I noted that if Afghanistan descends into chaos, one way China could interject itself, post-American withdrawal, could be through the United Nations, or along with Russia through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

However, if the Taliban succeeds in gaining power relatively easily, China benefits even more. China first publicly hosted Taliban representatives for negotiations in 2019, and private communications have very likely been ongoing for longer.

In that scenario, I noted in a separate piece Mark Almond, director of the Crisis Research Institute at Oxford University, provides some excellent insights in his piece titled, “Days after we leave Afghanistan, China is moving in to gain a direct route to the riches of the Middle East. And with billions in their war chest, where will their ambitions end?”

He notes:

In a development that should strike fear through Western capitals, Beijing scents [senses] an unrivalled opportunity to extend its influence in the region and gain strategic territorial and economic advantage that could rewrite the geopolitical map in its favour.

And now, Derek Grossman a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corp, appears to concur, writing in Foreign Policy:

Amid all of this regional angst, China is quietly attempting to secure its interests in post-U.S. Afghanistan. Beijing has reportedly been actively engaging with Kabul on construction of the Peshawar-Kabul motorway, which would connect Pakistan to Afghanistan and make Kabul a participant in China’s massive infrastructure and investment plan, the Belt and Road Initiative.

Up until now, Kabul has resisted participation in the initiative to avoid getting on the wrong side of Washington. Beijing is also building a major road through the Wakhan Corridor—a slim strip of mountainous territory connecting China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang to Afghanistan—and onward to Pakistan and Central Asia, complementing its existing road network through the region.

Once completed, these new thoroughfares should enable Beijing to pursue its goals of increased trade with the region and natural resource extraction in Afghanistan. According to a 2014 report, Afghanistan may possess nearly a trillion dollars’ worth of extractable rare-earth metals locked within its mountains.

But in order to access these benefits, Afghanistan must first become stable and secure. With a Taliban takeover looming, China received some good news two weeks ago: Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said in an interview that “China is a friendly country and we welcome it for reconstruction and developing Afghanistan … if [the Chinese] have investments, of course we will ensure their safety.”

Moreover, on the sensitive issue of whether the Taliban might support alleged Uyghur militants against China in neighboring Xinjiang, Shaheen noted, “We care about the oppression of Muslims, be it in Palestine, in Myanmar, or in China, and we care about the oppression of non-Muslims anywhere in the world. But what we are not going to do is interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

These words were clearly intended to please Beijing, which appears to be starting off on exactly the right foot with the Taliban should the group regain control over Afghanistan.

Grossman adds: “Beijing already has strong bilateral and multilateral relations throughout the region (not least via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization), but an improved relationship with Afghanistan will pay even larger dividends.”

“If the Taliban stay true to their word—a big if—then Beijing is set to benefit from Belt and Road projects transiting Afghanistan as well as what China frames as counterterrorism cooperation against Uyghur extremists in Xinjiang.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago

They’ve never adequately explained why we need to occupy Afghanistan. Supposedly, what’s his name was operating out of caves in that country to attack America on 9/11. (If you buy that, I’ve got a Brooklyn Bridge 100 year lease for purchase..) Once our hero, Odumbo, dumped his carcass in the the drink, that should have ended any ‘terrorist’ threat to America. We need to rein-in our leaders to stop them from involving our nation in foreign entanglements, and focus their efforts on our own borders, economy, infrastructure and energy independence. America is not supposed to be muscle for Globalists, and we should make that clear to our elected representatives.

AD Roberts
AD Roberts
1 month ago
Reply to  David Baker

Let’s see. They CLAIM that they killed Osama and quickly dropped him in the ocean. NO BODY will ever be shown. Did they really kill him? I DON’T THINK SO. The CIA just let him walk.

by Victor
by Victor
1 month ago
Reply to  AD Roberts

Fact is binny died in 2001! ObumHole had Binny’e body double killed and dumped in the big drink, And then had Seal Team six killed to cover up!!!

Michael Bluemke
Michael Bluemke
1 month ago

One more thing, gen. milley is a lying coward, I can’t believe the way this jerk off talks!!! The military needs to train all troops in combat procedure’s not politics!!! milley talks just like his commie boss!!! The fact this retard earned a CIB, I’ll bet he NEVER FACED HOSTILE OPPOSITION!!! Calling PRESIDENT TRUMP just like Hitler, put him in combat, ALONE!!!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Maybe China wants to experience “defeat” since every power since UK tried to run country got kicked out & were the Last to leave

YO VINNIE
YO VINNIE
1 month ago

I don’t believe china would be so politically correct and their rules of engagement would be totally different than that of the USA. Should china encounter any difficulties in Afghanistan, they will slaughter the Taliban and do away with any prisoners taken during the fighting.

Ben Matthews
Ben Matthews
1 month ago
Reply to  YO VINNIE

Yup…an almost end-less supply of slaves &/or “organ-parts”…good business❗️

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago
Reply to  YO VINNIE

It’s their business what they do in foreign countries. We should concern ourselves with our own issues: Homelessness, Illegal Aliens, our National Debt, Crime and Sovereignty. Let those people hash out their own conflicts, and get America out of this Globalist campaign.

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago
Reply to  YO VINNIE

China would have just as much difficulty in Afghanistan than we had. Their military, like America’s, is large, tech heavy and formulated for defense against aircraft, advanced tank tactics, cyber-sabotage, and large troop movements. Those rag-tag terrorist cells and street gangs in the Middle East don’t fight in that manner. We should have written off that whole region as not being worth the effort, and brought our troops home much sooner.