China-ALSHARQIYA June 6: China is preparing to fill the void left by US forces in Afghanistan, after the latter's forces left the country on Friday.
China is adopting a set of strategies to replace the United States in Afghanistan, the most prominent of which is the economic aspect, as the authorities in Kabul are studying the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a huge economic project that includes a number of infrastructure projects worth 62 billion dollars, and aims to establish a land road linking the city of Kashgar In China and Pakistan's Kawader Port, it is part of China's "Belt and Road" initiative.
Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the project in 2013 as a global infrastructure development fund, aiming to better connect China with the rest of the world.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2049, as China will provide huge loans to countries in order to support them in building better infrastructure including building new highways, railways and energy pipelines between Pakistan and China all the way to Afghanistan.
Among the projects currently under discussion is the construction of a major road between Afghanistan and the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
According to the Daily Beast, the authorities in Kabul and Beijing are discussing the issue of this strategic route.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying: "Linking Kabul and Peshawar by land means Afghanistan's official accession to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor."
The source indicated that there has been contact between the Afghan government and China over the past few years, but this has made the United States suspicious of the orientations of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.