New EFSAS Article: China’s growing interests & influence in Afghanistan
To create a deeper understanding of Chinese undertakings in Afghanistan, the diplomatic relation of the two countries needs to be explored. Afghanistan and China have long-standing diplomatic relations, underlined through their early trade relations tracing all the way back to the Han Dynasty. On a more contemporary line, Sino-Afghan relations have been friendly during the past 200 years, exempting only the brief period of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan which engineered a pro-Soviet and anti-Chinese regime, quickly overthrown however after the collapse of the Soviet Union. China there provided moral and military support for the Mujahideen, alongside the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the UK. This was in pursuit of defeating the Soviet Union by sponsoring those anti-Soviet Mujahideen fighters, which forced the Soviet Union to reorganize its strategy and eventually resulted in a détente between the two countries. Presently, Afghanistan and China share only a narrow border of 97km, on the Chinese side the autonomous region of Xinjiang, and the Wakhan Corridor on the Afghan side, a border which was finalized and drawn up in 1964.