China prepares to move into Afghanistan following America’s departure

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  • American troops have finally departed their main military base in Afghanistan
  • China has been waiting in the wings in order to do a deal with Kabul
  • The country wants to extend its ‘Belt and Road’ program to Afghanistan
  • Program would see a direct land corridor between Afghanistan and China through northwest Pakistan constructed
  • Deal could give China strategic foothold in the region for trade with the country acting as a central hub connecting the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe
  • But there remains the air of unpredictability with lasting peace uncertain with Taliban likely to make a resurgence in the region 

While American troops were leaving their main military base in Afghanistan on Friday, China was already preparing to enter the war-torn country to fill the vacuum left by U.S. and NATO troops.

Authorities in Kabul are considering extending a $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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First launched in 2013 by Chinese president Xi Jinping, and written into the Chinese constitution in 2017, it is billed by Beijing officials as a global infrastructure development fund which aims to better connect China to the rest of the world.

The Chinese entry comes amid threats from the Taliban to NATO to get out of Afghanistan by Joe Biden’s September 11 deadline or face reprisals.

Terror chief Suhail Shaheen said his men would not interfere with foreign diplomatic missions but that if ‘occupying forces’ remained the Taliban were bound to ‘react.’

More than 1,000 Afghan troops fled across the northern border into neighbouring Tajikistan on Monday after fighting with the resurgent jihadists who are recapturing swathes of land across the country after the US-led coalition quit.

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