China’s Role in Afghanistan

By Raffaello Pantucci (潘睿凡)

First published in 东方早报 (Oriental Morning Post), April 28, 2014

(published Chinese above, English translation below)

维护阿富汗稳定的责任 或将落到中国身上
早报记者 黄翱 发表于2014-04-28 07:06

英国皇家联合服务研究所

高级研究员

“毫无疑问,中国未来应该在阿富汗发挥更大作用。”在长期致力研究中国与中亚各国关系的英国学者潘睿凡看来,随着卡尔扎伊时代的终结以及美国抽身阿富汗带来的不确定,作为在阿富汗有着重要利益的地区大国,中国势必将承担起在阿富汗问题上更大的责任。

“这种重要性不仅仅是对中国以后的经济发展而言,同样也关乎到中国未来的政治和安全。如果未来西方国家对阿富汗缺乏利益关注的话,那么维护该地区稳定的责任就会落到中国这样的区域大国身上。”他说。

东方早报:中国如何向阿富汗人民和国际社会更加清晰地阐述中国的阿富汗战略?

潘睿凡:这其实是一个非常复杂的问题。在中国企业投资项目中,你会发现政策目标和行动之间常常存在根本差异。我与很多阿富汗人有过交流,他们抱怨江西铜业和中冶集团(MCC)只是干守着艾娜克铜矿项目却并不去开发其矿产资源能力,他们对中国未使该项目真正地投入运行很不满。我相信实际情况肯定要复杂得多,我同样也相信中国可以在该事情上做得更多。阿富汗人民真正需要的不仅仅是口头的政治声明,还包括切实的行动。目前,中国在阿富汗地区扮演了重要角色,但却不是最关键的那个。阿富汗人民期望中国扮演关键的角色并能切实完成该角色的使命。还有一点要注意,中国要在巴基斯坦和阿富汗之间中找到一个平衡点。

东方早报:中国应该在该地区提供更多的安全产品吗?

潘睿凡:是的,中国应该在阿富汗地区提供更多的安全保障。可以从几个方面入手:首先,帮助阿富汗人增强边境安全的能力。在这方面,中国通过上海合作组织以及与中亚伙伴们的合作积累了很多有益的经验。阿富汗可以借鉴这些经验从而增强其边境安全的能力。其次,中国可以帮助培训安全部队。我知道,中国政府在这方面已经提供了一些有限的培训项目,而在未来,中国应该大幅度增加这些培训帮助。第三,帮助组建当地的安全部队以保护矿产开采等重点区域。阿富汗内政部长已经组建了一支保护艾娜克铜矿的特别部队,中国在此方面进行投资和培训也将有助于确保投资的安全。

东方早报:中国企业在阿富汗扩展业务的最大障碍是什么?如何移除?

潘睿凡:正如我前面提到的,安全是最大的问题。此外,阿富汗不完善的法律框架和官员不成熟的技术能力则是另外比较重要的问题。中国可以在两个方面提供帮助:首先,确保中国公司在阿富汗进行投资时不参与腐败行为。如果所有人都不做受贿索贿的事情,那么阿富汗的政治体系能力就会提高。中国政府应确保国有企业在阿富汗投资时不采取贿赂的手段并遵守阿富汗法律,这对阿富汗来说将是莫大的帮助。其次,中国政府可以为阿富汗的初级官员们提供奖学金使他们获得到中国一些技术性大学培训的机会,让他们学习如何更完善地制定法律以及其他一些所需的技能。这么做可以为阿富汗培养更为出色和有效率的官员,也有助于这个国家的发展和稳定。同时,这也意味着,中国在这个国家的企业投资中将会得到来自更有效率官员们的帮助,阿富汗的整个体系也将会因此变得更加高效。

录入编辑:王卉

1. In the post-ISAF ear, should China take a major role of the regional geopolitics of Afghanistan? If does, what the role should be?
Yes, China should take on a much bigger role in Afghanistan in the future. As one of the major regional giants with interests in Afghanistan, China has an important role to play – this is in terms of the country’s economic future, but also in terms of its political and security future. So far China has tried to avoid doing too much in this direction, but without the western interest and focus it will increasingly fall to regional powers like China to take these roles on.
2. How could China make clear to the Afghan people and international community of a clearer Afghan strategy?
The problem here is complicated as the fundamental divergence between Chinese policy and action really lies in the big investment projects that are being done by Chinese companies. Many Afghans I have spoken to complain about the Mes Aynak project being run by MCC/Jiangxi Copper saying that it is something that company has just been sitting on and blocking impeding the ability to develop the site. They then resent China for not doing more to make the project start. I am sure the reality on the ground is complicated, but I also am sure that more could be done.
What Afghanistan needs is not only a political statement, but also demonstrations of action. So far, China has played a role in Afghanistan, but not a major one. The Afghans hope and expect that China will say it will play a major role and then follow through. The final element to remember is that China needs to find a way of balancing its relationship with Pakistan with that with Afghanistan. The Afghans often become agitated when they see how much China does and supports Pakistan (a country they have a very complicated relationship with) and how relatively less China does with them.
3. Should China provide more security product in the region? How could China do so?
Yes, China does need to do more in security terms in Afghanistan. This could look in a few different directions. First, help the Afghans strengthen their border security – China has learned many lessons about Central Asian borders through the SCO and its partnerships in Central Asia. These could be translated to help Afghanistan strengthen its borders. Training: the Chinese government already does some limited training of security forces (ANP mostly I believe) in Afghanistan. It should increase these numbers substantially. Develop local security forces to protect mining sites: the Afghan interior ministry has already created a special Aynak protection force essentially – helping fund or train more in this direction would be a good thing that would also help secure Chinese investments.
4. What would be the greatest obstacle of Chinese enterprises expanding their business in Afghanistan? How should China do to remove it?
Security is the biggest problem, so see my previous answer. The other aspect is Afghanistan’s legal framework and official technocratic capacity. This China can help in two ways: first, ensure that Chinese firms doing investments in Afghanistan do not indulge in corrupt practices. If everyone stops doing this the system will improve, but you have to start somewhere. If the government makes sure that state owned firms investing in the country are not using bribes and are adhering to Afghan law this will help. Second, the Chinese government should explore looking at offering training at Chinese technical universities or sponsoring scholarships for junior Afghan officials to go and learn about (for example) drafting laws or other technical skills this will help Afghanistan develop the capacity to have a better and more efficient set of officials who can help the country grow and become more stable. It will also mean that Chinese businesses investing in the country will have a more effective group of officials to interact with making the Afghan system more efficient.

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

One comment

  1. rizwan

    we Pakistani ;love China…PAKISTAN CHINA FRIENDSHIP LIVE LONG..China will be a next super power of the world…China we love you

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>