Sino-Afghan Relations in the Twenty-First Century: From Uncertainty to Engagement?

Jonathan Ludwig


While the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has worked to expand cultural and economic ties throughout it’s near abroad and beyond in the last decade with great alacrity, the same cannot be said for its relationship with neighbouring Afghanistan. This paper will explore the history and nature of the Sino-Afghan relationship with an emphasis on the post-9/11 years. It will offer some reasons why the relationship is not as well established as with other countries in the Eurasian region and beyond, and it will explain how the relationship has developed in the last decade. Finally, it will make some suggestions as to what the future of this relationship might hold after the final withdrawal of NATO/ISAF-Afghanistan troops in light of China’s often conflicting concerns about and goals in Afghanistan.

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