How CPEC matters for Afghanistan?
Posted on September 21st, 2021

Pathik Hasan

Afghanistan is a land-locked country.  But there are many potentials in the sectors of international trade of Afghanistan. But those weren’t utilized properly for the Afghan people. The war-torn country saw many wars such as civil wars, Soviet invasion, US invasion. But little knows that Afghanistan was a transport hub traditionally in case of ancient Silk Road connectivity. But after a long time, Afghanistan lost the position.

Previous US backed regimes could not utilize the resources and potentials of Afghanistan properly. Now time is changing. Taliban is going to form government in Afghanistan. Taliban is now focusing on the development of socio-economic aspects of the people. Taliban wants to revive the economic situation of Afghanistan. They would like to be connected with the outer parts in the world.

China run Multi billion dollars project, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become a blessing for Afghanistan. Now China, Pakistan, Russia have become well wisher of Afghanistan for the better of Afghanistan. Already, China has declared that its embassy in Afghanistan is functional. Russia shows interest to work together with Afghanistan. Pakistan also wants to provide the assistance to Afghanistan. Pakistan hopes that Afghanistan will join the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). At the same time, Islamabad wants Kabul in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Pakistan can give Afghanistan Transport and transshipment facilities for Afghanistan. Utilization of Gwadar port and CPEC by Afghanistan is some sort of example in this regard.

An write up written by Xie Jun and Chu Daye titled ‘Extension of CPEC into Afghanistan to boost local exports, journey of peace: analysts’ in Global Times says Afghanistan has become the first among several landlocked Central Asian countries to benefit from using the Chinese-invested Gwadar Port in Pakistan in transshipment trade. In 2020, the country imported 43,000 tons of fertilizers via the port, contributing to its agricultural development”.

According to this article in Global Times, Zhou Rong, a senior researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, said that if the CPEC is extended into Afghanistan, China could help build or improve infrastructure between Afghanistan and Pakistan to facilitate their economic exchange. 

According to Tribune Express report in May 24, 2021, a spokesperson of Chinese foreign ministry says, CPEC to be extended to Afghanistan, other countries and Extension won’t only boost faster economic development in Pakistan but also regional connectivity.

Pakistan’s leading daily, Pak Observer reports on September 04, 2021 that Taliban Spokesperson Mujahid said the extension of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by linking it with Afghanistan is very important. He clearly stated the Taliban value China’s Belt and Road Initiative as the multi-billion-dollar project will revive the ancient Silk Road.

The Taliban spokesperson in an interview with an Italian newspaper said that China will be their major partner” in efforts to rebuilt war-torn Afghanistan. He said that China is ready to make the investment in Afghanistan and help rebuild Afghanistan.

Using CPEC and Gwadar port, Afghanistan can reach to South Asian states, South East Asian States, East Asia, Middle East, Africa. War ravaged country needs a huge number of investments now. If Afghanistan is connected with Gwadar port and CPEC, many development partners will play a strong and structural -effective role to take part in the development process in Afghanistan. For example, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia may take part in Afghanistan. Many Chinese companies will be interested to invest in Afghanistan directly. Ultimately, Afghanistan will be benefitted.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of China’s most ambitious projects. These include highways, railways, fiber optic networks, energy, ports, economic zones and many other projects. It is expected to dramatically improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure.

A section of this economic corridor has already been launched. Goods have already been transported from China through Pakistan to the port of Gwadar. From there, Chinese goods went to Africa and West Asia. There are also potentials for Afghanistan in this regard.

China is already talking about linking Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China had been in talks with the Kabul government for a couple of years about plans to build a highway between Peshawar and Kabul, although the Afghan government has not agreed, fearing the United States will be unhappy. Now Taliban wants to be connected with CPEC for their own interest. Moreover, China is building a road to the Afghan border through the Wakan Corridor in Xinjiang province.

A huge number of goods and products of Afghanistan will be exported through this port if Afghanistan is connected with this port finally. Afghanistan can import its essential commodities from various countries using this port and CPEC connectivity project. Chinese companies will more invest in the energy sector of Afghanistan to fulfil the demands of Afghan people. Many countries including China, Pakistan, Countries of ASEAN, GCC can contribute in reconstruction and development process in Afghanistan.

CPEC has brought a new dream and aspiration for Afghanistan. Now it is high time for Afghanistan to utilize it for ensuring the interest of Afghan people. Usage and utilization of CPEC by Afghanistan will develop Afghanistan in the long run.

2 Responses to “How CPEC matters for Afghanistan?”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    If there was ever an unpolished diamond among the gems it would be Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a nation that is 252 thousand square miles (about the size of Texas) with a population of 41 million and a 3 $Trillion worth of minerals, oil & gas, shares borders with Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and is a neighbor with Russia,. India, and China. it is one of the few nations to have 4 nuclear powers, 2 SC members as neighbors, and is the gateway of the Silk Road to the West. As far as ancient India is concerned the Khyber pass was that geographical choke point through which most invasions and migrations occurred changing the subcontinent.

    As a Muslim nation it’s neighbors are Pakistan which was created as a Muslim homeland and Iran whose revolution created a Muslim theocracy. Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are three of the Central Asian Muslim nations connected to Russia’s Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Chinas Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with immense natural resources and sparsely populated

    When the US media avoids all these nations to report on a 20 year war as if the role of America’s military is the only issue that matters means most of the news on this war is censored out for I am sure China, India, Pakistan and Russia are actively engaged in that war. Iran is the next Nuclear power sharing a border with Afghanistan and after China is the largest nation at 650 thousand Square Miles and the former Persian Empire. It cannot afford to stay neutral when the US is actively working against it. 20 years the US was there was like a road bump in their history.

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    There is the history of Afghanistan which played central role in the Great Game, a geopolitical strategy formed by England after the Crimean wars that ended in 1856. The Crimean war was against Czarist Russia and by 1857 England’s East India company consolidated its holdings in the Subcontinent under the royal crown creating the Empire and the Indian army which was essential preventing Russia reaching the Indian ocean.

    The Great Game eventually included South Asia and the Middle East America continued this power struggle during the American Century in which the cold war against the Soviet Empire, is part of it, and it has to end.

    England and Europe’s machinations to contain Czarist Russia and control the new oil wealth of the Middle East includes the creation of the Indian army, the Indian state and the Jewish state. It also includes containing China and managing the subcontinent through New Delhi.

    Till this game ends the parties involved must be clearly defined and sides taken as one would between Right and Wrong. The Colonial Empires and America have been consistently Wrong in the Great Game

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