Beijing is expected to get more involved in Kabul as NATO plans to leave the country, because it fears the chaotic situation in Afghanistan will have a direct impact on China’s security, according to experts.
Chinese and foreign analysts say that after years of standing in the background, Beijing is starting to show signs of closer engagement with its war-torn neighbor in a bid to ward off disaster .
” Afghanistan’s security situation will have a direct impact on China’s security,” The Christian Science Monitor quoted Zhang Li, an expert on South Asia at Sichuan University in Chengdu, as saying.
“The Western military pullout “clearly presents China with more problems than opportunities,” he added. Some observers believe that it is time that China stepped up to the plate.
“It is not rational to rely on a distant and remote country to provide security for the region,” Hu Shisheng, an analyst at the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations, said referring to the U.S. ”China has to take more responsibility,” he added.
According to the paper, if NATO troops leave the Afghan Army and the Taliban still locked in combat, China is worried that the Uighur “East Turkmenistan Independence Movement,” which Beijing regards as a terrorist group, might find refuge in Taliban-controlled zones.
Officials here also fear an upsurge of drug smuggling through Xinjiang, the paper said.
According to the paper, some experts also said that Beijing fears that possible Taliban gains would spill over into Pakistan, China ‘s closest regional ally.