China, the United States, and the Question of Afghanistan
Andrew Small, Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing: Looking West: China and Central Asia For many years, US attempts to encourage China to play a constructive role in stabilizing Afghanistan were met with staunch opposition. Not only did Beijing resist any form of cooperation with the United States there, it sought to limit its own involvement in Afghanistan, and was at best a second tier actor among the powers who were influencing the country’s future path. Chinese policy is now in a new phase. The US drawdown has concentrated minds in Beijing, and China’s anxiety about the security implications in the aftermath are drawing it into increasingly active efforts to help forge a political settlement. After a long period in which China’s approach to Afghanistan was a source of frustration, this is now one of the rare areas of foreign policy where the United States and China largely see eye-to-eye.