After the catastrophic 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States (US) launched a war in Afghanistan to combat terrorism as a major non-traditional security threat. Twenty years later, Afghanistan is still struggling for solidarity, stability, and development, and remains a hotbed for transnational terrorism. Although observers view China as a key player in Afghanistan, which will fill the strategic vacuum left by the US withdrawal, a successful Chinese approach in Afghanistan depends on many factors including the US competition strategy vis-à-vis China, the Taliban's rule, neighbouring countries’ interests and choices with respect to Afghanistan, and other factors. Therefore, China may devise a realistic, pragmatic, constructive, and cooperative approach to address the non-traditional security challenges in Afghanistan. Taking due cognisance of the bitter stories of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, China maintained a low-key stance in Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew from the country. After 1991, to address the security concerns in Xinjiang, China supported the building of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and seeks to avoid any military presence in the country. China will largely maintain this prudent approach in Afghanistan after US withdrawal from the country.
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