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Chinese Firms Don’t Want to Pay Afghanistan’s Costs

1 34 16
27.08.2021

The United States is paying a heavy cost for the messy way in which it is withdrawing from Afghanistan, but an equally serious concern for many analysts has been the long-term prospects of China filling the vacuum left by the United States and expanding its geopolitical influence farther into the Eurasian landmass. When viewed through the lens of the growing rivalry between Washington and Beijing, it’s not hard to imagine seeing Afghanistan now being painted red and falling into China’s camp.

Despite Beijing’s huge war chest of yuan and a tested comfort for dealing with dictators, the United States has little to fear in a Chinese foray to turn its western neighbor into a client state. Far more likely, Beijing would suffer the same fate as many other empires that tried to shape Afghanistan in its own image. The economic, political, and strategic contexts all work against Beijing.

The United States is paying a heavy cost for the messy way in which it is withdrawing from Afghanistan, but an equally serious concern for many analysts has been the long-term prospects of China filling the vacuum left by the United States and expanding its geopolitical influence farther into the Eurasian landmass. When viewed through the lens of the growing rivalry between Washington and Beijing, it’s not hard to imagine seeing Afghanistan now being painted red and falling into China’s camp.

Despite Beijing’s huge war chest of yuan and a tested comfort for dealing with dictators, the United States has little to fear in a Chinese foray to turn its western neighbor into a client state. Far more likely, Beijing would suffer the same fate as many other empires that tried to shape Afghanistan in its own image. The economic, political, and strategic contexts all work against Beijing.

Whatever normal economy existed has all but been decimated after four decades of war. According to the World Bank, Afghanistan’s total economy in 2020 was valued at only $19.8 billion, making it smaller than every single Fortune 500 company. For a country of 39.9 million people, that translates into a meager per capita income of only $509—or barely above........

© Foreign Policy


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