Three broad views have begun to emerge. All of them highlight the importance of China undertaking the responsibilities that come with being a great power. They all agree that Afghanistan is a vital region on the Chinese frontiers and that bringing peace and stability to the war torn nation in Beijing’s vital interest.
The first view argues that Beijing should stop seeing Afghanistan as an exclusive problem of the United States and recognise it as a long-term challenge to China’s own security. It goes on to say that â€œChina possesses almost unlimited resources and capability to help stabilise the situation in Afghanistan and by providing substantive support, China can help the reconstruction of Afghanistan for the benefit of the Afghan people as well as its neighbours.â€
A second view is more cautions and points to the many negative consequences of a military involvement in Afghanistan. These include the prospect of Chinese homeland and its personnel and assets abroad becoming a target of Islamist radicalism and terrorism, as Beijing gets sucked into the Afghan quagmire.
It also underlines the possibility of the â€˜China threat’ theory gaining ground in the region and the world, and points to likely large scale casualties among the Chinese troops deployed in Afghanistan. It therefore argues that China should stick to â€œpurely diplomatic and humanitarianâ€ contributions to Afghan stability.
A third view underlines a middle path. It suggests sending Chinese police and paramilitary forces into Afghanistan rather than the army.
2010-01-03 08:05:18 UTC