China extends its reach into Central Asia
On Monday, we highlighted that Chinese leaders are worried about what could happen in Afghanistan as America disengages from the region.
According to the Wall Street Journal, China has been taking steps to stabilize the region:
“Seeking to buttress cross-border security and protect its regional economic investments, China in early 2017 committed $85 million to set up an Afghan-led army brigade in northeastern Badakhshan province, according to a June 2017 Pentagon report to Congress.”“In neighboring Tajikistan, China in 2015 or 2016 signed secret agreements with authorities that gave Beijing rights to refurbish or build up to 30 to 40 guard posts on the Tajik side of the country’s border with Afghanistan, a Tajik official said last year.”In Tajikistan, China is basically running the border:“Under the accords, Chinese border guards have replaced their Tajik counterparts along large swathes of the territory along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, where Beijing deems the Tajiks incapable of stopping militants potentially infiltrating Tajik territory, the official said.”“’There are parts of the country where the Chinese have taken over border control completely,’ the official said.”
Our question: Will China’s growing presence in Central Asia be welcome? Or create a backlash?