Weekly Geopolitical Report – Afghanistan, Part IV: China (October 4, 2021)

by Thomas Wash | PDF

In Part I of this report, we reviewed the history of Afghanistan and why great powers have fought over it for centuries.  Part II examined how the United States exit from Afghanistan will affect Pakistan, India, and Iran. Last week, Part III focused on how the U.S. exit will play out for Russia and the Central Asian countries. This week, we wrap up the series with a look at the implications for China and beyond, along with a discussion of the overall investment ramifications of the U.S. withdrawal.

Historically, China has tried to maintain a relatively low profile in Afghanistan. However, the U.S. troop withdrawal from the region has forced China to confront the problems that it has hoped to avoid. Without a U.S. presence in the region, Islamist extremism could potentially run rampant along Chinese borders. Additionally, instability in Afghanistan could hinder Chinese efforts to expand its influence into Central Asia and the Middle East. As a result, we suspect that China will embark on a potentially costly effort to fill the power vacuum left by the U.S. in Afghanistan. In this report, we will discuss how the U.S. withdrawal impacts China and how China may look to stabilize the region.

Read the full report