China has said that it will offer ‘genuine aid’ to Afghanistan amid the chaos that has shrouded the country after Islamist group Taliban took over. As per a Chinese state media report, China’s state owned as well as private firms are contemplating various investment strategies in war-torn country. The report claims that the Communist party backed state owned enterprises are exercising caution for new projects, the private companies look at this as an opportunity to tap into the market where “a thousand thing wait to be done”.
Chinese state media also referred to the private Chinese companies’ interest in Afghanistan as “China’s successful diplomacy with the Taliban” which will eventually pave way for safe and smooth operation of business in Afghanistan. Citing unnamed ‘industry insiders’, the Chinese state media claimed that the private players stand to gain in Afghanistan despite “Western governments’ potential sanctions on the Taliban”. Global Times claimed that these sanctions are malicious and ‘western geopolitical objectives’ to stifle China’s economic growth.
China claims that its ‘investment’ in Afghanistan, which is rich in resources like mineral deposits, will be ‘genuine’ and deliver support unlike the other ‘western countries’ which ‘exploited’. The investment of Chinese state-owned companies “will be in line with Chinese national strategy”.
Experts believe this could turn Afghanistan into yet another rental state of Chinese Communist Party, like Pakistan.
Pakistan: China’s rental state
Owing to significant investment in infrastructure and other crucial areas, China has long been accused of calling the shots in Pakistan, another neighbour of India like Afghanistan. China is an all-weather friend of Pakistan, having invested billions of dollars in developmental projects in the country. China has invested about $70 billion in Pakistan for the development of roads, railways and other infrastructure.
China is currently undertaking multibillion dollar investment project, ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) which would connect Gwadar port to western China. It was part of the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative where dozens of projects were carried out in Pakistan with Chinese money. In fact, China has not only invested in mainland Pakistan but also places like Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and remote places like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Chinese investment in debt-ridden Pakistan came up as much-needed relief and owing to the same, Pakistan, which wanted to boycott France when teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded over alleged blasphemy, has not uttered a word against China’s atrocities on Uyghur Muslims in the ‘deradicalisation camps’ in Xinjiang province.