Episode 11: A New Great Game? China & Afghanistan
China's Belt & Road Initiative is back in the spotlight. Indeed, it looks as if Central Asia is poised to make a return to the centre of China's strategic affairs and foreign policy planning more broadly.
The fall of Kabul to the Taliban last weekend raises a number of geo-political questions, not least how - or indeed whether - China will look to capitalise on the withdrawal of the US from a key country within its sphere of influence. Chinese foreign policy experts often like to suggest that there is opportunity to be found in a crisis, but how Beijing will interact with the Taliban will surely be a stern test of their mantra that where there is a '危' there is also a '机'. Afghanistan boasts natural resources, can act as a conduit to Pakistan and out to open for water for Chinese exports destined to traverse the Belt & Road Initiative, and provides an opportunity for China to showcase its capabilities as a mediator on the world stage. Conversely, it also represents a geo-political headache, testing China's relationships with almost all of its neighbours, not to mention Russia and the US.
Dr Samuel Ramani is a tutor of politics & international relations at the University of Oxford, where he received his DPhil in March 2021. He is a specialist on post-1991 Russian foreign policy with a particular focus on Russia's engagement with the Middle East, Africa, and the Indo-Pacific Region. Sam spoke to the CBBC's Joe Cash on why he believes that China is well placed to manage the relationship with its new neighbour.
The views expressed in the China Business Brief podcast are those of invited contributors and not necessarily those of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC). We do not accept any liability if the podcast is used for an alternative purpose from which it is intended, nor to any third party in respect of this podcast.