China's strategy in Afghanistan.


Petrolicious88

Junior Member
Registered Member
The idea to rope Afghanistan in to the B&R sounds good on paper. But Afghanistan is probably one of those places that is almost ungovernable.

There was a plan by to develop the Afghan cashmere industry which failed. There was a plan to provide cargo planes to Afghan government, again failed due to corruption. The entire US plan to rebuild Afghan infrastructure basically failed due to rampant corruption and incompetence.

At one point the US military was trying to turn farmers that didn't even have grade 1 level reading skills into disciplined soldiers. There were regular reports of Afghan police or military high on heroin, nodding off at checkpoints. Or how Afghan government employed young boys as sex slaves. They were called Chai boys.

The nickname for Afghan government was VICE - Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise. The Taliban and these local warlords are no better. 穷山恶水出刁民. The entire country is a bottomless money pit.
 

Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
The idea to rope Afghanistan in to the B&R sounds good on paper. But Afghanistan is probably one of those places that is almost ungovernable.

There was a plan by to develop the Afghan cashmere industry which failed. There was a plan to provide cargo planes to Afghan government, again failed due to corruption. The entire US plan to rebuild Afghan infrastructure basically failed due to rampant corruption and incompetence.

At one point the US military was trying to turn farmers that didn't even have grade 1 level reading skills into disciplined soldiers. There were regular reports of Afghan police or military high on heroin, nodding off at checkpoints. Or how Afghan government employed young boys as sex slaves. They were called Chai boys.

The nickname for Afghan government was VICE - Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise. The Taliban and these local warlords are no better. 穷山恶水出刁民. The entire country is a bottomless money pit.
Well the same can be said for many of China's other BRI activities in various other 3rd world countries.

Take Malaysia as an example. China signed a number of BRI deals with their ex-PM, Najib Razak, perhaps the most corrupted PM in Malaysian history. The deals are negotiated by that man to enrich him and his family. Then when Najib is voted out of office, another corrupt PM, Mahathir returned to power, and who is anti-China. He decided to cancel a number of major projects signed with China after years of negotiations with the previous PM, citing corruption. Sounds correct, but he also neglects to mention that China is more than willing to renegotiate those deals. Now, Malaysia remains the only ASEAN country which had so publically rejected BRI projects. Its the only remaining stumbling block to connect HSR lines from Kunming to Singapore. Its economy is going backwards relative to the other ASEAN countries. Where was America, the West, and Japan to step in when China is pushed away? Nothing! Its pure Malaysian arrogance and stupidity. Meanwhile China and the rest of ASEAN just moves on. There is no need to teach Malaysia a lesson, they are in trouble and have still not woken up. Let reality do it's work.

Point is, not every country is deserving of BRI. Afghanistan might probably the latest example of a bad BRI investment. China's may be too optimistic. But its technically not a bad idea to propose BRI to Afghanistan. Both for soft power, and to stabilise the country in the long term.

Only time will tell. But I think China has taken lessons from its other BRI mistakes. There isn't a rush from China commit too much into Afghanistan yet. There is also some military coordination between China and other SCO members, bar India to prepare for an eventuality that Afghanistan might return to being a failed terrorist state.

China doesn't need Afghanistan to continue growing the BRI. But its still nice to have that country join up because of its history with the old Silk Road. Its up to Afghanistan to make its own BRI happen. If it can't, then too bad. China will have to move on. Just resume the current BRI program that is not passing through Afghanistan.
 

Jono

Junior Member
Registered Member

China Weighing Occupation of Former U.S. Air Base at Bagram: Sources
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wondering if PLAAF should consider taking over the abandoned US air base at Afghanistan if invited by the Afghan Government and supported by the Taliban ? Is this a good idea, or an act of folly for China?
plus points are that the Chinese presence may serve as a stabilizing peace keeping force, and also safeguard the security of the westward route of the BRI including a potential construction of a new oil pipeline from Eastern Iran ( pure speculation on my part ) ??
the recent bus bombing in Pakistan killing several Chinese engineers shows that China should not pin all their oil-gas transportation plans on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as it is an easy prey to sabotage from you know who, a big hostile country in the south, cough cough.... Also a new pipeline from Iran transiting through Afghanistan may bring some economic dividends/developments to the latter.

downside of course is having a military base in Afghanistan can be interpreted by the proud local populace to be another foreign invaders to be attacked and expelled. Also the conflict between the Taliban and present regime may flare up and China caught in-between.
of course the western MSM will have a field day trumpeting yet again the evil Chinese occupation and ill intentions in a foreign country blah blah blah.
I did ponder on this point at the Chinese Overseas Bases #141.
I still think it will be a good move for China to make use of the already built up Bagram Base, to secure the BRI.
 

Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
I did ponder on this point at the Chinese Overseas Bases #141.
I still think it will be a good move for China to make use of the already built up Bagram Base, to secure the BRI.
I just think that security for BRI should be provided by The Afghan govt first. If that fails, then China should not look to do BRI projects there.

In my opinion, China should not look to get involved in Afghanistan militarily. Its exactly what the US and friends would have wanted. Any Chinese military presence in Afghanistan is gonna drain money. Plus it'll be a mouth watering target for terrorists. China's PR would also suffer because, its Afghanistan. So any Chinese troops getting hated and attacked in Afghanistan is gonna be a great media story in the West and India.

Is Bagram Air Base worth all that? I think the more cost-effective, and PR-friendly way for BRI security is just letting the Afghan govt take responsibility for it.

Assuming Afghanistan turns into a normal country one day. I think its better for Bagram Air Base to be turned into a civilian airport. To complement the Kabul airport. Put a museum in there to remind visitors of the atrocities of the NATO occupation of Afghanistan.
 

Jono

Junior Member
Registered Member
I would respectfully disagree.
No pain, no gain. China is now handed a golden piece of real estate on a silver plate, and given a real opportunity to showcase its meritocracy and strength in governance to the global south. What better platform to show its admirable strengths to the entire world by working with the Taliban and building up Afghanistan? well, nobody expects China can transform A-stan into another China, but at least a semblance of progress can be made? Besides, I feel that the Taliban is sincere in asking China for help, and if China sticks to development projects only, and not interfere with the political process in the country, there should be less opposition to its presence in A-stan. If China waits until all is rosy and good in its neighbour, the opportunity to help may never come. Time for China to stand up and be counted as a strong and reliable force for development and progress in contrary to the US.
If A-stan remains unstable and poor, it will remain a haven for terrorists, which simply cannot be good for Xinjiang too.
so it is in China's interest and benefit to lend a helping hand when the new regime is still groping its way in its infancy.
the Bagram Base is a useful foothold for China.
just my 2 cents of humble opinion.
 

DarkStar

Junior Member
Registered Member
If China needs an overseas military base, Gwadar would be far more appropriate, but A-stan is just right next door to China- it would appear to be a moot point to have Bagram as another base.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
The idea to rope Afghanistan in to the B&R sounds good on paper. But Afghanistan is probably one of those places that is almost ungovernable.

There was a plan by to develop the Afghan cashmere industry which failed. There was a plan to provide cargo planes to Afghan government, again failed due to corruption. The entire US plan to rebuild Afghan infrastructure basically failed due to rampant corruption and incompetence.

At one point the US military was trying to turn farmers that didn't even have grade 1 level reading skills into disciplined soldiers. There were regular reports of Afghan police or military high on heroin, nodding off at checkpoints. Or how Afghan government employed young boys as sex slaves. They were called Chai boys.

The nickname for Afghan government was VICE - Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise. The Taliban and these local warlords are no better. 穷山恶水出刁民. The entire country is a bottomless money pit.

Except China is not interested in nation building or empire building.

Chinese dealings with the Taliban will be transactional. The Taliban gives access for cash and diplomatic support.

It doesn’t matter if all the locals just want to grow and smoke heroin so long as they leave Chinese mines and railroads alone. If they don’t, the Taliban can go do the door kicking if they don’t want their revenue stream and diplomatic cover to degrade and eventually be stopped.

Foreign special forces doing sabotage missions would probably be too much for the Taliban, but it’s not like China wants to take over the entire place. Chinese interests in country would be so limited that they could probably afford to be able to permanently have UCAVs on station cover their key interests if they want. Especially if they operate out of Bagram. I seriously doubt the likes of the US would have the balls to send Seal teams in to do economic sabotage deep in Taliban country with no air support, ISR, QRF back up or easy or quick exfil options while the opfor has air support, ISR, QRF and UCAVs all in theatre as well as massive and comprehensive HUMINT from every goat herder or farmer. And even if they had the balls to send them in, the odds of them ever coming back out are going to be remote.
 

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