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August 22, 2021

If China Moves Into Afghanistan, There Will Be Significant Differences Between Its Conduct And That Of The Other Empires That Tried And Failed To Subjugate The Afghans

The Persians, the Greeks, the Arabs, Tamerlane, the British, the Soviet Union, and now America (and I am sure to be missing a few); all tried and failed to conquer, hold and convert Afghanistan to their version of modernity, or subservience, or political orthodoxy.

The Afghans were fiercely tribal long before Islam, and seem to unite only against invaders, against whom they have had success for 2,500 years! They play the long game, and have demonstrated throughout their history a passing interest, if any, in the value of human life. There are great swaths of the country that are unchanged from the time of the Mongols. Many tribes are comfortable living a medieval life, governed by Islam, with the improvements of modern weapons and cell phones.

So why would China attempt a conquest? They have ample evidence of the impossibility of controlling the country. Why should they try when all they want is the economic benefits of all of Afghanistan's mineral wealth, estimated to be in the many hundreds of billions of dollars?

All they will do is strip the Afghans of their wealth, just as they do in Africa, and in return they will be friends of the Taliban, defending them at the UN and on the world stage. And maybe China will use Afghanistan as a conduit for solidifying its presence in the area.

China doesn't "nation build." China takes what it needs and will protect its interests. If the Taliban grow weary of the Chinese presence and begin to push back, then it will get interesting, but it would be in China's best interest to keep the relationship strictly business. The Taliban have a good relationship with Pakistan, as does China, so there is a template in place, and mutual friends to smooth away strife caused by China's theft of Afghanistan's natural resources. And, As America has discovered to its chagrin, China is adept at buying friends, and one would assume that Afghan "friends" are far less expensive than the American variety.

Who knows, maybe China will use Afghanistan as a dumping ground for its own Muslim population, the Uyghurs.


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posted by CBD at 02:00 PM

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