by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)
Beijing’s strategic priority is to prevent ETIM fighters exiled in Afghanistan crossing the Wakhan Corridor to carry out operations in Xinjiang
The latest plot twist in the endless historical saga of Afghanistan as a graveyard of empires has thrown up an intriguing new chapter. For the past two months, Beijing and Kabul have been discussing the possibility of setting up a military base alongside Afghanistan’s border with China.
“We are going to build it [the base] and the Chinese government has committed to help financially, provide equipment and train Afghan soldiers,” Mohammad Radmanesh, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, admitted to the AFP.
“We are going to build it [the base] and the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers,” he added.
On the record, the Chinese Foreign Ministry only admitted that Beijing was involved in “capacity-building” in Afghanistan, while NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, led by the United States, basically issued a “no comment.”
The military base will eventually be built in the mountainous Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory in northeastern Afghanistan that extends to China and separates Tajikistan from Pakistan.
It is one of the most spectacular, barren and remote stretches of Central Asia and according to local Kyrgyz nomads, joint Afghan-Chinese patrols are already active there. True to Sydney Wignall’s fabled Spy on the Roof of the World ethos, a great deal of shadow play is in effect. Apparently, this is basically about China’s own war on terror.
Beijing’s strategic priority is to prevent Uyghur fighters of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), who have been exiled in Afghanistan, crossing the Wakhan Corridor to carry out operations across Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China. There is also the fear that ISIS or Daesh jihadis from Syria and Iraq may also use Afghanistan as a springboard to reach the country.
Even though the jihad galaxy may be split, Beijing is concerned about ETIM. As early as September 2013, the capo of historic al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, supported jihad against China in Xinjiang.
Later, in July 2014, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh said: “Muslim rights [should be] forcibly seized in China, India and Palestine.” Then, on March 1, 2017, Daesh released a video announcing its presence in Afghanistan, with the terror group’s Uyghur jihadis vowing, on the record, to “shed blood like rivers” in Xinjiang.
At the heart of the matter is China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or the New Silk Road, which will connect China with Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
For Beijing, the stability of one of its links, the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is seriously compromised if terror threats abound in Central and South Asia. It could also affect China’s sizable investments in Afghanistan’s mineral mining industry.
The Chinese and Russian strategies are similar. After all, they have been discussed at every meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member. For the Russia-China partnership, the future of a peaceful Afghanistan must be decided in Asia, by Asians, and at the SCO.
In December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told diplomats from fellow BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) member India that Moscow favors talking to the Taliban. He said this was the only way to reduce the risk of terror operations emanating from Afghanistan to Central Asia.
The question is which Taliban to talk to. There are roughly two main factions. The moderates favor a peace process and are against jihadism, while the radicals, who have been fighting the US and NATO-supported government in Kabul.
Moscow’s strategy is pragmatic. Russia, Iran, India, Afghanistan and the Central Asian “stans” have reportedly held meetings to map out possible solutions. China, meanwhile, remains an active member of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) promoting a peace deal and reconciliation process which will include the Kabul and the Taliban.
Beijing’s multi-pronged strategy is now clear. Ultimately, Afghanistan must become integrated with CPEC. In parallel, Beijing is counting on using its “special relationship” with Pakistan to maneuver the Taliban into a sustainable peace process.
The appointment of Liu Jinsong as the new Chinese ambassador to Kabul is significant. Liu was raised in Xinjiang and was a director of the Belt and Road Initiative’s $15 billion Silk Road Fund from 2012 to 2015. He knows the intricacies of the region.
Even before Liu’s arrival, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, had announced that Beijing and Islamabad would extend CPEC to Kabul with six projects selected as priorities. They included a revamped Peshawar-Kabul highway and a trans-Afghan highway linking Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Of course, that would neatly fall into place with a possible Chinese military base in Gwadar port in Pakistan, the Arabian Sea terminal of CPEC, and one in the Wakhan corridor.
Now, compare the Russia-China approach with Washington’s strategy. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy involves defeating the Taliban on the ground before forcing them to negotiate with Kabul. With the Taliban able to control key areas of Afghan territory, the Trump administration has opted for a mini-surge.
That may be as “successful” as President Obama’s much-touted 2009 surge. The US government has never made public any projection for the total cost of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.
But according to the Dec. 8, 2014 version of a Congressional Research Service document – the latest to be made public – it had spent up until then, $1.6 trillion on the invasion and military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Which brings us to the question: Why does the US remain in Afghanistan?
After more than a trillion dollars lost and nothing really to show for it, no wonder all eyes are now on Beijing to see if China can come up with a ‘win-win’ situation.
The US remains in Afghanistan to frustrate China and Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan.
Russia too. Afghanistan has observer status in the CIS.
Russia just has to wait the US out. The USD will get in enough trouble that the US will be calling some of its armies home. And China should stop providing a lifeline to the US. The US spends 700 bn on military. China has a trillion dollars in credit extended to the US. That is unacceptable
As the economy works, China has a powerful weapon and I find that acceptable. It can sell US bonds and bring up interest rates a lot. This possibility is also a threat against several other countries primarily in the West. Think also of the new petroyuan, it can not bring down the dollar, but it can damage it.
Russia waits patiently and that is wise. The Russian central bank is misunderstood in Russia. It stays in the international system – for now.
zionists are everywhere, over more than 30 years Chinese anglozionists pushed pressure on Uyghurs, they banned their language, their culture, their religion, even they import Wahabism from Saudi Arabia, sent many Uyghurs to learn Islam from Wahabi Saudi and egypt. the media is strictly controlled in Xinjiang, China. Uyghurs are living just like living in prison, they do not know what is really going on in this world.they cannot access foreign websites, as long as they access through vpn they will be labeled terrorist suspect. I respect government concern about this terrorist propaganda, but on the internet there are more good information that help uyghurs to better understand this world. therefore what uyghurs know is just what is told by anglozionist empire in xinjiang.
the media is controlled by anglozionists, I was shocked when I knew this reality. their media openly against Russia however they are pro zionists despite of their geological border near to Russia than to Israel and US. after president Xi jinping took some steps to control China, anglo zionist entity begin to changed its policy in Xinjiang, they seems they support president Xi, they begin to praise in different manner in the media, however, zionists always there.
recently the famous cleric of Uyghurs, Muhammad Salih Damulla was dead. the World Uyghur congress(the NGO funded by NED) propagated the Chinese government killed him, but mostly I doubt that the real killer is Zionists themselves. they are the real planner,
and other information I would like to say is that today the whole world is searching some solutions for problems and trying to find the truth in all deceptional actions. what I found is zionist interest also include Israelites the whole people. then who are the Israelites? DNA was collected from Uyghurs, from caucasus and many other places…why? I believe that almost 35% of uyghurs are Israelites, I mean they are descendants of ancient Israelite tribes, not only turks or huns from east. these Israelites were active along the silk road, they were turkificated and Islamificated. take a look at his J2 haplogroup distribution.
Kara-Khanid Khanate were Jewish state just like ottaman empire.they foght over 40 years against with buddist Khotan kingdom in order to convert them in Islam just like Ottaman fought against with Christian Byzantine empire.
there are several links if you know more about this.
“zionists are everywhere, over more than 30 years Chinese anglozionists pushed pressure on Uyghurs”
Okay, sounds interesting. Gets even better:
“I believe that almost 35% of uyghurs are Israelites, I mean they are descendants of ancient Israelite tribes, not only turks or huns from east /…/ “
“Kara-Khanid Khanate were Jewish state just like ottaman empire.”
Zionazi hasbara on steroids. Proving in turn that it’s very good news that China stays the course.
“People who use steroids in excessive doses often experience, during the using period or after it, mood disorders that meet the criteria of psychiatric disease categories such as depression, anxiety, psychotic reactions and cognitive deterioration”.
I’m sure it’s the US aim to impede or disable the economic agreements between these Asian countries. And the best way to do it is through terror. The US government in the past has made deals with monstrous dictators to thwart what they see as a threat. Nowadays, it’s more an agreement with a ideology than one person, the likes of Al Queda or Daesh. One suicide bomber or a terrorist act can make for a bad day to do business. Call it a deal with the Devil.
Who do you think controls the drug trade worldwide?
Any article about Afghanistan that does not mention opium is incomplete. It is like, 50 years ago, writing about Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia without mentioning the Golden Triangle.
Talking of the drug trade, monopolized by the Jewish Mafia back in the golden East India Company days and probably centuries further back.
North Korea, of all countries, has a huge heroin production too, estimated to be $ 500 billion per Year (5% of Afghanistan’s output) and controlled by, guess who, the East India Com…, I mean, the CIA.
So evil east indua company was not english satanic entity but a jewish one?
Goid but pitiable attemot to pass the horrible crimes of english nation on to the jews.
I’m thoroughly shocked that they’re even stealing our crimes now:
The US is present in Afghanistan for three reasons:
1) Geopolitical, to subvert the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union. including the Silk Road initiative.
2) To grab some or all of Afghanistan’s 3 trillion dollars worth of minerals
3) To try driving Muslim extremists, residing in Afghanistan, into the Muslim areas of China and subvert China from within, good old fashioned internal subversion. The US has been in Afghanistan some 17 years, and the Taliban control at least half the country. Washington must know by now that it cannot prevail against an enemy fighting in a mountainous environment. However, using that enemy against China is a different matter.
You left out the profit from opium production to finance deep state black ops
You are right. I did leave out that important point.
The correct approach for the Chinese regarding its Muslim population in their northwest, is to adopt the Putin / Russian strategy in the Caucuses regarding the Chechens. The Russian Federations example in its Chechnya province is a major success.
Simple, pour in lots of money (and the Chinese have an enormous amount to allocate from) , dramatically increase the standard of living for that population, and they in turn would shun extremism. In parallel to this initiative, would be for an educational program , led by Mosques, to denounce Wahhabism and extremism.
Perhaps the Uighurs can be convinced that their agitating backers, the CIA, Mossad, India’s secret service are an enemy of Islam, ever more vocally and that it is China that has so much to give and develop for the benefit of Muslims across the Islamic world. And this is exactly what is going on.
On one hand you have the Anglo-Zionists (U.S./Britain/Israel) the GCC Gulf Arab sheikhdoms, Australia, Japan and Hindu India; and on the other hand you have the Chinese, Russians, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), most of Yemen , Venezuela.
Whats at stake is the rest of the world and the future of mankind, whom is at the forefront of great advancement and the coming of the/a new age. The nineteenth century belonged to England, the 20th to the U.S., the 21st will be the Chinese century. No one can stop it.
The Chinese come to a country with briefcases and a handshake. They speak of a ‘win-win’ mutually beneficial business, and on top of that, they invest billions in the infrastructure of said country. Offers said country with interconnectivity to the One Road – One Belt mega initiative. Literally a connection to the world in trade and all else.
The Anglo-Zionists come to a country with demands, threats of coups, subversion, intrigue, plots and schemes. They engineer corruption in targeted country, force it to take loans from the IMF or World bank, loans which targeted country cannot payback, unless they sell off the wealth and futures of their country and peoples. All this is backed up by 12-15 Aircraft Carrier Task Forces, 600 bases of military nature, threats of sanctions etc, embassies and NGO’s and all the way up to recruiting top officials of target country.
The world people will chose the new way, the Chinese way forward for the 21st century. One by one, countries will peel away from the stranglehold that has been keeping them down, oppressed , and third world.
The Anglo-Zionists and their pathetic lackeys want to keep the status quo, a situation of the world that benefits them, and only them. They are very worried and scared of the rise of China and what China is doing, and achieving geo-strategically , how it is booming beyond belief.
The Anglo-Zionists perhaps only have the option of war as the only way to stop China’s dramatic rise, and thus influence on the global scene. But the Anglo-Zionists are not very good at war, as we saw in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon Syria etc. They may bomb away as they wish, but they are never able to put boots on the ground to hold territory successfully. Snipers and IED’s proved too much for the U.S. in Iraq 2, AK-47’s and IED’s are proving too much for the U.S. in Afghanistan too. Trillions spent and nothing to show for.
The Anglo-Zionists are so arrogant and outright delusional that they are attempting to use India, as a stalwart against China. China by leaps and bounds, from here to the moon surpasses India in just about everything you can imagine. Yet, the ultra-nationalistic Hindus of the Indian government and military act belligerently towards China, India is also to be used by the Anglo-Zionists to meddle in Afghanistan to give Pakistan a headache there.
I would hate to see another Sino-Indo war as it wont be pretty for the Indian side. China has built a mega highway system that goes all the way to the border with India. Reinforced concrete, these highways can deliver heavy artillery and armored divisions to the border very quickly, to the detriment of the Indians. Besides that, why on earth would India align itself with the West plus Israel? India even gave Israel launch pads on its territory for use on Pakistani nukes, in case of war. They are hostile to their neighbors, and in fact Modi’s Hindus are anti Islam Islamophobs who have embraced Zionism as a ‘friend and ally’. Mr. Netanyahu is a personal friend of Mr. Modi. They recently embraced each other for the cameras at a conference in New Delhi titled ‘China the Disruptor’. So instead of India benefitting from the One Road-One Belt silk road, which would benefit the 900 million citizens of India that live in abject poverty(India has the highest suicide rate/per ratio in tht world), and maintaining stability and good relations with its neighbors which would benefit it greatly, India instead makes good friends with the masters of discord on Erath, the Jews/West. Bollywood is in love with Hollywood it seems. So be it.
The British were in India far too long and have left their stench there – as in the Middle East. The Empire was a first class parasite. It takes a lot of time and effort to erase such pollution. India is still suffering from this PTSD of British rule, as are many former British colonies. The Yankees, upon losing a war, as Saker has said, “Declare victory and leave”, but the British go one further – they leave behind ticking time bombs, aka Pakistan/India, Palestine/Israel. Th British are truly demonic and their perfidy was exported to the great continent of what is now called America. The Americans took up the mantle with gusto but can still not match the British in evil.
UK & US = Jewish Mafia vassal states
UK & US aristocracies and elite bloodlines = crypto-Jewish for centuries
For a more comprehensive picture add Spain, France, Germany, etc. to the mix.
As an Indian (belonging to the 69% secular majority who did not vote for Modi) , I cannot agree more with you. China’a One Road One Belt is the only hope of infreastructure investment coming to India, which is badly needed. Let us hope there is a change of givernement in India in the next election (due 2019) and we can revert to the nonaligned policy
Good article, Mr Pepe. The video programme (new to me) was encouraging also, good to hear commentary from the nations actually involved in the project.
For all China’s good moves they always seem to leave the door open to subversion by the westerners, because the capitalist element of the Chinese leadership love trade, even with countries hostile to it. These corporations are free to take advantage of Chinese workers and treat them worse than animals would be treated in the West.
At least Xi is getting rid of the corrupt elements of the Communist Party and his personal additude towards Russia is extremely positive. Using the rail and road links across Eurasia will cut off the power of the sea based Anglo economics. If China really wants its alliance with Russia to flower, it must recognise Crimea as Russia. That would send a real message to these sea powers. But the pro Western, corporation loving element in China will never allow it and instead insist on keeping the US debt economy afloat so they can sell Chinese stuff to them
Its not just the leadership that loves to trade. I don’t think that I’ve ever met a Chinese person–and I’ve met a few–who didn’t have an absolute passion for it. And as for gambling, they are the most cheerful and enthusiastic gamblers in the world, and get the most fun out of it, even to the poorest kitchen porter.
“Why does the US remain in Afghanistan?”
To keep the country destabilized and use it as a spring board to mount destabilisation against other nations in the region. And to provide protection for the Jewish mafia’s thriving opiates businesses there.
Warren Delano, the grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made the family fortune in the opium and heroin business. So it’s probably not just the Jews that are thriving in today’s opium / opioid epidemic.
What does a 19th century pindo robber-barron have to do with the modern day illegal drug mafia.
For eschatological reasons China must be drawn into Afghanistan and from there into the war which will engulf the ME. Not my eschatology that’s for sure but certainly having China play the part of the 200 myriads of myriads of locusts coming to Israel from the East is an essential element in the programming of the US religious Right.
Let’s put the positive about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in perspective, as a comparison between the emerging multi-polar world, lead by pragmatists in Beijing and Moscow to the Empire.
Imagine The U.S.A. and Canada, with support of Mexico, building a railway, road, and multi-resource transport pipeline system all the way to Patagonia, and investing multiple trillions of dollars in the countries along the route.
That is what the equivalent would be for the United States of America, creating and implementing policy best for the American citizenry, and incidentally, also the Canadians, Mexicans, and almost all of the the countries in the Americas, ultimately benefiting the U.S.A.
Still confused about who the smart good-guys are?
The U.S.A. is actually instead, performing the dumb ‘bruiser’ bully roll for the socio-pathic ‘chosen’, in their little stolen piece of dirt in the Middle East.
The ‘Empire’, as is so frequently referred, is, at it’s base, an Israeli/’Jewish’ controlled United States of America.
Break the control, and the U.S.A. is back to the top, as a regular sovereign country.
Don’t break the control and they will incite a nuclear war, one way or another.
It does not look good.
All caps part converted to regular letters – MOD
That is a good point
If America had taken that approach last century instead of the rape and pillage approach it inherited from Great Britain (with a little encouragement from the bankers of the world) then America, as part of the Great American Continent, would be immensely rich and respected.
The win-win approach of China is not based on giving a rat’s bum about the other country. It is simply pragmatic. If you win, we win.
It’s business …. don’t take it personally.
As another commentator noted, trade is in the Chinese DNA. Whereas it appears rape and pillage is in America’s DNA.
As for gambling ….
The casino’s bans successful gamblers. The Chinese see gambling as a hoot. America can only win when it rigs the game. So they are trying to ban China from the biggest casino of all …. the world.
With little success … it seems
“The casino’s bans successful gamblers.”
That’s not strictly true.
Casinos take a very, very close interest in their customers, particularly the high rollers or whales. Genuine big wins are seen as great advertising in a business that often is restricted in that area. All big wins are minutely scrutinised in real time to spot possible frauds and cons–of which there are many.
The genuine big wins eventually come back across the table and there is much work done to keep it that way.
Punters do get banned for a variety of reasons but rarely while they have a good, viable credit line or a previous big win in their pocket. Detailed scores are kept and never forgotten.
Keep the BRI rolling, folks. It appears to me to be a winner-world-wide. Certainly much better than what we have now. But don’t ever allow a Zion/American finger in it’s future…….except as customers-along-the-way.
” The US government […] had spent up until then, $1.6 trillion on the invasion and military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Which brings us to the question: Why does the US remain in Afghanistan? ”
This old, tired argument misses the mark completely. The Jewish Mafia’s business model is total control of nation states, corporations, organizations and households of all host nations through debt slavery, for heaven’s sake. Is this so difficult to understand? The higher the debt, the greater the control.
Once the banking monopoly had been achieved, money wasn’t a consideration anymore for the Jewish Mafia. Hencefoerth money was created of nothing where it is needed, when it is needed.
This comes in very handy when your mission is to control all sectors of the economy and the society that are known to be unprofitable but are sine qua non to full-spectrum dominance, like:
– film production
– internet infrastructure
– Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Tesla, SpaceX
– the arts
– think tanks, NGOs
– militias and mercenary armies
– political parties
– education & academia
– the health sector
– the defense industry
– religions, sects, cults, churches, secret societies, private Intel agencies (yes, seen from the capstone of the pyramid, they are all one and the same)
– lobbying, bribing, intimidation, etc.
Alas, the Jewish Mafia’s business model only works in a closed system. When other agencies, nations start doing their own thing, the hot air fiat money system collapses sooner or later.
Lost on the Roof of the World; a documentary film about the Wakhan Corridor, a harsh and inhospitable environment, and the beautiful people whom call it home.