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China could ‘gloat’ about Afghanistan now, however the Taliban’s return comes with issues, says professor

The autumn of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the following chaos presents a “sophisticated scenario” for China, a Cornell professor advised CNBC.

“At one degree, what is going on in Afghanistan is likely to be thought of a win for China as a result of it means that the U.S. has quite a lot of weaknesses by way of its intelligence … the way in which it deploys its large army arsenal and financial energy, generally to not very productive ends,” Eswar Prasad, a professor of commerce coverage at Cornell College in New York advised CNBC “Road Indicators Asia” on Tuesday.

America’s “lengthy and unproductive involvement” in Afghanistan has been a “black eye” for U.S. international coverage, mentioned Prasad, who was previously head of the Worldwide Financial Fund’s China division.

“This can actually knock the U.S. down a peg or two within the eyes of the remainder of the world, though it’s removed from clear that the end result in Afghanistan will by itself … drive any nation deeper into China’s financial and political embrace,” he mentioned in a separate e-mail.

Afghanistan fell to Taliban management when the Islamist militant group seized the capital of Kabul greater than every week in the past. The Taliban have made fast advances throughout the nation because the U.S. began withdrawing its army forces in Afghanistan forward of its Aug. 31 deadline.

I feel Beijing is prone to gloat within the quick run — however who is aware of, it may have some issues on its fingers in the long term.

Eswar Prasad

professor of commerce coverage, Cornell College

Concern in Beijing over resurgent Taliban

A Taliban takeover may additionally include its personal issues for China, Prasad mentioned.

There’s official concern in Beijing about what a resurgence of the Taliban and different extremist teams would possibly imply for China’s home stability as “it is laborious to think about this may not spill over the border in some style or the opposite,” he mentioned.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

There are two attainable eventualities with excessive potentialities, mentioned Victor Gao, vp of the Heart for China and Globalization.

One is that the Taliban embraces reform and peace, and the opposite is that the Taliban reverts to its previous methods — to what it was 20 years in the past, Gao advised CNBC Tuesday.

“That can represent quite a lot of risk to the folks in Afghanistan, but additionally to neighboring international locations and areas like China’s Xinjiang area, for instance, and put many individuals in hurt’s manner.”

Prasad added: “So I feel Beijing is prone to gloat within the quick run — however who is aware of, it may have some issues on its fingers in the long term.”

Chinese language media has solid the U.S. withdrawal in a unfavorable mild. Chinese language state-run media International Occasions revealed an editorial Monday blaming the defeat of the Afghan authorities on the withdrawal of U.S. forces. 

‘Void’ left by U.S. withdrawal

The hasty U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan additionally raises some questions, Cornell’s Prasad identified.

“There are questions on whether or not — even when the U.S. is dedicated within the quick run to a specific nation or a specific area — whether or not the dedication might be sustained, or is credible over the long run, and likewise whether or not the dedication would possibly finish in a really messy style, as we’re seeing proper now,” he mentioned.

In the meantime, there are questions on who will fill the vacuum left by the “weak” American dedication within the area, Prasad mentioned.

“The query is whether or not there may be another energy that may, once more, fill within the void that is likely to be created by perceptions of weak American commitments or weak American means to ship on these commitments.”

 — CNBC’s Abigail Ng and Natasha Turak contributed to this report.


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