Beijing/ Islamabad : China has begun its efforts to intervene and reduce the tensions escalated between Afghanistan and Pakistan on the issue of terrorist activities. China’s external affairs minister Wang Yi recently visited Afghanistan and Pakistan and has claimed that successful mediation has been done between the two countries. The US has given indications that it will increase the troop deployment in Afghanistan and at the same time the Trump administration is increasing pressure on Pakistan. With this background, China’s efforts to mediate between the two countries has proved to be grabbing attention.
Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister recently visited Afghanistan and Pakistan. He met the Afghanistan foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabbani and Sartaz Aziz, external affairs advisor to the Pakistani PM during his two-day tour. After meeting both the leaders, the Chinese foreign minister released a joint declaration on behalf of the three countries.
In the joint declaration, Wang Yi claimed to have done a successful mediation. The Chinese foreign minister informed that to avoid the tension between the two countries from reaching the tipping point, ‘Crisis Management Mechanism’ has been prepared. At the same time a forum has been formed of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers in which various issues including financial cooperation will be discussed, reported Wang.
It can be seen that the Chinese foreign minister’s visit and the claim of successful mediation were part of the efforts to protect the Chinese interests in Afghanistan. China has invested majorly in Afghanistan in the past few years. Following this investment, it has also come to the fore that China had also taken an independent lead in the peace talks with Taliban. Though this initiative has failed but China is taking steps to increase its influence in Afghanistan.
China had increased the pace of these activities soon after the announcement by the then US President Barak Obama about withdrawing of US troops from Afghanistan. Along with China, Russia too had started its efforts to increase its influence in Afghanistan. After the change of power in US, the new President Donald Trump has indicated the change of policy on Afghanistan. The deployment of the US troops in Afghanistan is being increased as well as Pakistan is being pressurized to carryout increased anti-terrorist campaigns.
The changed stance of the US has made China insecure and it is evident from this urgent visit of the Chinese foreign minister Yi that China has now become active to protect its interest in Afghanistan. China is using Pakistan to protect its good relations with Afghanistan which is clearly being indicated by the Chinese mediation between the two countries.