The move will put China at the centre of the international war against terrorism
It will also enhance its negotiating capability with India and the US
The fund-starved Afghan government has welcomed the Chinese move
BEIJING: The Chinese government has begun the process of extending the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan- a move, if successful, will put China at the centre of the international war against terrorism. It will also enhance its negotiating capability with India and the US, observers said here on Thursday.
The extension has been planned for the same reason why China chose to invest heavily in Pakistan, which was to pressure Pakistani army to cut off cross-border links between the Taliban and Islamic terrorists in Xinjiang. Beijing is worried about Muslim separatists who have carried out strikes in the region as well as other parts of China.
“CPEC is in one sense a bribe,” said Tom Miller, author of a new book, ‘China’s Asian Dream’ and a senior analyst at Gavekal Research. “It’s like China saying: look, we will help you build, we will finance it if you get serious about terrorism,” Miller told TOI.
The fund-starved Afghan government has welcomed the Chinese move. Afghanistan finance minister Eklil Hakimi recently said the one belt, one road (OBOR) programme will help boost transportation and energy infrastructure besides enhancing people-to-people ties with China.
There are signs that Beijing may offer a piece of the action in Afghanistan to New Delhi, making OBOR an attractive proposition. But, India is very unlikely to accept such an offer because it has serious objections about the CPEC passing through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
Despite the grand plans, implementing the transport connectivity programme won’t be easy owing to the dangerous security situation and differences between the governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, experts said.
Online Source: timesofindia.com