Russia and China have different Afghanistan ambitions: experts


According to experts familiar with the matter, Russian policy factions promise that the country will be in line with the economic ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Afghanistan or work in the security arena of Central Asia. Is divided as to whether to simply re-promise.

Maxim Stykov, a senior researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, disagrees on whether the risk of building a nation in the Middle East deserves a potential luker to take advantage of Afghanistan’s $ 1 trillion. Said there was. The value of rare earth metals.

“There is currently this debate in the Russian policy-making community about the scale of ambition Russia should seek in Afghanistan,” said Suchkov. Exploration of rare earth metals, and some opportunities for other economic development projects. “

He added: “Other groups have warned of this deep involvement and say that our strategy should be security-oriented only. Therefore, Russia should be concerned about Afghanistan’s national construction, development and infrastructure. No, because it’s a black hole that depletes all resources. “

Such comments were received in an online panel hosted by Tufts University’s Fletcher School when investigating the future impact of the Taliban-led Afghanistan on Russia, China and Central Asia.

There was speculation that Russia and China would soon seize the opportunity to develop Afghanistan’s vast mineral resources after the Taliban’s resurrection, but Suchkov’s remarks, at least for Russia, are obvious pitfalls in such a proposal. Showed that there is.

This difference is due to the fact that such Coffs also tended to consider Russia and China acting together against the United States, even though they may actually be acting the same. He said it might be overlooked in the context. As an example, he emphasized Russia’s and China’s attacks on the US failure in Afghanistan.

“As far as Afghanistan is concerned, the United States has done much more than Russia and China in weakening its position,” Suchkov said. “So Russia and China here are, in a sense, picking up hanging fruits with low glory and bashing to get the most out of US action in Afghanistan.”

“It may create the feeling that they are trying to do something together in Afghanistan, but perhaps the only new factor linking Moscow and Beijing now is a serious concern about what will happen next. .. [in Afghanistan].. “

Niva Yau Tsz Yan, a Fellow of the Eurasian Program at the Philadelphia Institute for Foreign Policy, said Russia and China maintain a firm agreement on each other’s goals in Central Asia, but China is under pressure to challenge the CCP. I agreed to do so. Consistent with the existence of Russian security.

“Chinese scholars say that if China is not military involved or China does nothing more in terms of security, eventually Central Asian countries will do what Russia can, after all, do concretely. It provides a real sense of security that things that say you’ll realize that you’re the only security provider that can do it will be okay, “Yau said.

“China is very worried about this,” Yau added.

Yau said that Chinese commanders in the region were often adjacent to translators because Russian was the regular language of security space. China may have an economic advantage, but the Russian army was a team to win on military affairs, Yau said.

Russia’s security advantage in Central Asia may be waning, according to Nargis Casenova, senior researcher at the Central Asian Program at Harvard University’s Davis Russia-Eurasia Research Center.

“In Central Asia, there is some competition in the area of ​​security. The situation is changing,” said Casenova. “In the past, Russia had this kind of monopoly, but now it’s diluted.”

As evidence of this changing tide, Kasenova pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party recently developed a military base on the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the African army associated with China had begun to learn Mandarin, so she said she was able to begin shifting the language hurdles to greater military cooperation.

Overall, the three experts agreed that Russia and China have different ambitions in Afghanistan, but reports of fractures in their relationship are exaggerated. They argued that the two countries are likely to continue to build relationships, but like many Chinese and Russian efforts, the process is not in the form of two countries pursuing their goals side by side. Tandem that is likely to be one of the.

Andrew Thornbrook

Andrew Thornbrook

Freelance reporter


Andrew Thornebrooke is a freelance reporter on China-related issues with a focus on defense and security. He holds a master’s degree in military history from Norwich University and writes the newsletter Quixote Hyperdrive.