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China vows to help Taliban ‘rebuild’ Afghanistan in Doha meeting | Source: Strait Times

China pledged to help the Taliban “rebuild the country” while reiterating calls for the US to lift sanctions against the new leaders of Afghanistan as the economy worsens. China is also counting on the Taliban to rein in radical Islamic terrorists that threaten Chinese interests both at home and abroad. A stable Afghanistan could open up opportunities to develop the country’s substantial mineral resources and give a boost to Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Source: Strait Times


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China passes new law to strengthen land border protection amid ongoing impasse with India | Source: Scroll

China has passed a new law to strengthen land border protection amid the ongoing standoff with India along the Line of Actual Control, reported the Hindustan Times. It gives “relevant responsibilities” to the People’s Liberation Army, the militia and the local government to support and coordinate defence and build border infrastructure. India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year.

Source: Scroll


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China Opposes Indian Leader’s Visit to Disputed Border Area | Source: FARS NEWS

Beijing announced that it firmly opposes Indian vice president’s visit to a disputed area on the China-India border, the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh”, urging New Delhi to refrain from moves that complicate boundary issues and bring China-India relations back on the right track and steady development. The so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” was established largely on three areas of China’s Tibet – Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul – which are currently under India’s illegal occupation.

Source: FARS NEWS


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Why China supposedly taking over Bagram Air Base is fake news

ARTICLE FROM:

TRIBUNE.COM

Why China supposedly taking over Bagram Air Base is fake news

07 OCTOBER 2021

A Taliban soldier sits in a military helicopter at Bagram Air Base.

There’s no reason at this point why Chinese troops should be put in harm’s way to fight the ETIM and other terrorists

Rumours spread over the weekend that China had secretly taken control of Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base. Both the Taliban and Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu denied these reports, with the former claiming that they’d simply turned on the lights there while the latter declared that “Those who fabricated the rumors that Chinese forces being present at Bagram Air Base has their own ulterior purpose.” Online news site The Drive obtained satellite images contradicting those rumors and thus confirming the Taliban and China’s claims that the People’s Republic hadn’t obtained any secret control of Afghanistan’s largest base. Objective observers are thus left wondering who was responsible for these false claims, why, and the reason behind their timing.

Nothing can be known for sure given the nature of these rumours, but some educated conjectures can still be made. The narrative that China is seeking to militarily expand beyond its borders is a popular one that appeals to some of the country’s supporters and all of its opponents. The first-mentioned are well-intended folks who don’t properly understand Chinese foreign policy and thus wishfully imagine that the country will deploy troops abroad both as a sign of prestige and to help its partners counter shared terrorist threats. The second, meanwhile, present these claims in an ominous way as supposed proof of so-called “Chinese imperialism”. It’s the first category, though, which could inflict the greatest damage to China’s international reputation.

Those across the world who have yet to make up their minds about whether they sympathize more with China or the US in the on-going New Cold War are more likely to believe that an unconfirmed report is true if either of their supporters interpret it as so. In the examined context, those Non-Chinese Pro-Chinese (NCPC) who gave credibility on social media to the claims that China secretly took control of the Bagram base just because it conformed to their wishful thinking but ultimately misguided expectations about Beijing’s policy can inadvertently play into their opponent’s narrative hands. American supporters can influence on-the-fence folks by pointing to the NCPC’s sharing of those false reports to push their claims about “Chinese imperialism”.

People who don’t fully understand Chinese foreign policy but might have wrongly believed that such false reports have some credibility because they saw certain NCPCs sharing them on social media would then have a warped understanding of the country’s policies whether they ultimately sympathize with it or oppose it. It’s always important to refer to official Chinese policy declarations and documents when discussing reports about its military activity abroad because of how much disinformation there presently is about this topic. China’s only overseas military base is in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti for assisting anti-piracy operations in the region and it only dispatches troops to other countries as part of UN peacekeeping forces.

It’s difficult to change someone’s mind if they have already negative views about China, but those who have positive views of the country based on false pretexts such as them sympathizing with it partially due to their belief in false reports about its foreign military activity could more easily change their views. That’s because they’re influenced by fake news that will inevitably be debunked by the facts, after which the person who was misled into believing them might then get upset with China for not doing what they sincerely thought it had. This perception manipulation model is applicable in many other instances since it relies on feeding supporters fake news and then exploiting their inevitable disappointment to turn them against the targeted country.

That’s not to say that some sort of Chinese entity might never have a presence at Bagram, such as a commercial one in a managerial capacity, but just that there really isn’t any solid reason why the Chinese military would want to take over that base and dispatch troops there right now. While there are veritably ETIM – and other terrorist-connected threats that might emanate from Afghanistan to endanger the People’s Republic, the country’s de facto Taliban leaders have years of experience fighting them and thus know better than any foreign forces how to deal with these threats. With all respect to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), it probably wouldn’t be able to accomplish much if it deployed to Afghanistan, which might even be counterproductive too.

To explain, there’s no reason at this point why Chinese troops should be put in harm’s way to fight the ETIM and other terrorists like ISIS-K in Afghanistan when the country’s de facto Taliban leaders have the responsibility and motivation to do this instead. China is also very conscious of doing anything that could be manipulated to lend false credence to the information dimension of the US’ Hybrid War on their country such as fuelling the fake news narrative that they’re obsessed with military expansionism for supposedly imperialistic reasons. Deploying troops to the same country that already has a globally renowned reputation for expelling the British, Soviets, and now the Americans would be contrary to their soft power interests.

With this insight in mind, it becomes clearer that those who were responsible for the recent rumours about China secretly taking over Bagram intended for this to serve as an information warfare provocation against the People’s Republic. It simultaneously misled some well-intended supporters of that country while also presenting the opportunity for their opponents to recycle the false narrative about supposedly imperialistically driven Chinese military expansionism across the world in countless international media outlets. The timing coincides with the US’ unprecedented loss of prestige after August’s humiliating withdrawal from the country and could thus play into the hands of its anti-Chinese hawks to push more aggressive policies against China.

It’s for these reasons why it’s highly likely that the US or one of its closest allies was behind these fake news reports. They don’t serve anyone else’s interests but those actors’. It doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things that they were denied by the Taliban and China as well as debunked by independent satellite images since this story can now be referenced following similar forthcoming information warfare provocations to mislead more people into thinking that there’s credibility to such reports simply because they’ve been spread before. The intent is to intensify the information dimension of the US’ Hybrid War on China in order to mislead more on-the-fence folks across the world into siding against that country and supporting its “containment”.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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China installs new shelters for troops near LAC in eastern Ladakh | Source: The Asian Age

China has put in place new modular container-based accommodations for its troops in several high-altitude forward areas on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Some sources said India is also ramping up construction of tunnels, bridges roads and other critical infrastructure in eastern Ladakh and other areas along the nearly 3,500-km LAC.

Source: The Asian Age


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China is already sending aid to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, filling the gap the US left | Source: Business Insider

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China is already sending aid to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, filling the financial gap left by the US and other world powers. Last week, China pledged $31 million worth of food, medicine, and COVID-19 vaccines, to Afghanistan, the first sizeable foreign-aid promise from a major nation since August 15. For China, the new Taliban regime signals a chance to extend its reach and access natural reserves.

Source: Business Insider


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China eyes investment opportunity in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan | Source: Hindustan Times

After the formation of an interim Taliban government in Afghanistan, China is set to establish an industry platform in the war-torn country to look into possibilities for investment in the reconstruction effort.”Various Chinese enterprises in the sectors of infrastructure construction and mining have contacted us for discussion since the release of the platform plan,” the state media quoted.

Source: Hindustan Times


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China welcomes ‘end of anarchy’ with new Afghan government | Source: CNA

“China attaches great importance to the announcement by the Taliban of the establishment of an interim government and some important personnel arrangements,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. Analysts have said a stable and cooperative administration in Kabul would open economic opportunities for China and allow for expansion of its massive overseas infrastructure drive, the Belt and Road Initiative. The Taliban may also see China as a crucial source of economic support and potentially a key ally.

Source: CNA


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China seeks to extend Belt and Road Initiative to Afghanistan | Source: Eastern Eye

A metro project built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Lahore.

CHINA has expressed hope to extend its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into Afghanistan.  With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan and the complete withdrawal of the US troops, China appears to be chalking out plans to extend its BRI to Afghanistan besides investments to exploit the rich minerals and highly lucrative rare-earth mines in Afghanistan. Rare-earth metals, which are key components for a host of advanced technologies like iPhones and hi-tech missile guidance systems, were estimated to be worth anywhere between $1 trillion (£720 bn) and $3 trillion (£ 2.1 trillion) in 2020 in Afghanistan.

Source: Eastern Eye


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Chinese-Russian Cooperation Is The Key To Afghan Peace

Chinese-Russian Cooperation Is The Key To Afghan Peace

2 SEPTEMBER 2021

Chinese-Russian Cooperation Is The Key To Afghan Peace

These major countries have pivotal roles to play through the Extended Troika, the SCO, the non-Western alternative financial institutions that they participate in, bilaterally with Afghanistan, and jointly with one another and that war-torn country. China and Russia can help Afghanistan politically, in terms of security, and financially.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed last week to cooperate more closely on Afghanistan after the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country. Both leaders hope to promote a peaceful resolution of its crisis in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2513 from March 2020 which authorizes them to engage with the Taliban in the interests of peace despite that group still officially being designated as terrorists. Most immediately, they can organize another meeting of the Extended Troika between themselves, Pakistan, and the US, but there’s more that they can do too.

Before describing the other policy options available, it’s important to remind the reader of the aforementioned one’s importance. The Extended Troika brings together the top foreign stakeholders in the Afghan Civil War. It functions as the most efficient platform for exchanging views between the warring sides and facilitating a political solution to the conflict. Now that the US-backed Afghan government in Kabul has collapsed, however, that country’s participants could be a mix of the Taliban and some of the other groups that want to participate in their de facto leaders’ promised inclusive government.

The Taliban might be able to organize a government on their own without any foreign support like they’re reportedly in the process of doing, which could then change the purpose of the Extended Troika. Instead of facilitating a peaceful resolution to the crisis, they could focus more on pressing matters of mutual security such as the threat of ISIS-K and other international terrorist groups that are active in Afghanistan. The US will have much less influence there following its planned withdrawal by the end of the month so relevant responsibilities would fall more on China, Pakistan, and Russia’s shoulders.

These three countries are all part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) where Afghanistan is also an observer. It might very well turn out that the Extended Troika becomes redundant in the event that the Taliban succeeds in forming an inclusive government on its own like it’s promised so it would be more sensible in that case for the SCO to play a greater role instead due to its members’ opposition to the shared threats of terrorism, separatism, and extremism. Since China and Russia jointly founded the SCO, they’d accordingly have the most responsibilities when it comes to this issue alongside neighboring Pakistan of course.

Security and development go hand in hand, however, so it would then be equally important to ensure Afghanistan’s sustainable reconstruction in the coming future. The US already froze the Afghan Central Bank’s $9.5 billion assets, the IMF suspended Afghanistan’s access to funds, and the World Bank just halted its aid so alternative financial structures would have to replace those Western ones’ role if requested to do so by Afghanistan’s de facto Taliban-led government. China and Russia would of course first have to officially recognize that government, but such formal acknowledgment might soon follow the conclusion of that process.

China and Russia can extend their own forms of bilateral financial support to Afghanistan once that happens and/or the financial organizations that they founded could potentially do the same. These are mostly the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank and the Eurasian Development Bank, but all members might have to first recognize the Taliban-led government. That’s why bilateral mechanisms or perhaps even a newly established joint one between China and Russia would most likely suffice since it’s unclear who else might recognize those authorities, when they’d feel comfortable doing that, and under what conditions.

Regardless of the exact scenarios, it’s clear that China and Russia hold the keys to Afghan peace one way or the other. These major countries have pivotal roles to play through the Extended Troika, the SCO, the non-Western alternative financial institutions that they participate in, bilaterally with Afghanistan, and jointly with one another and that war-torn country. China and Russia can help Afghanistan politically, in terms of security, and financially. This observation speaks to their irreplaceable importance in the emerging Multipolar World Order and the increased responsibilities that they’re shouldering commensurate with their rising global roles.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Taliban.


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