By Raffaello Pantucci, Shisheng Hu, and Ravi Sawhney
As NATO and Western powers begin to take a backseat in Afghanistan’s future, one of the most pressing questions is what role regional powers, particularly China and India, can play in helping the country to become a prosperous and stable nation.
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Numerous efforts are already underway through multilateral and bilateral forums, yet the key to regional co-operation in securing Afghanistan’s future lies through closer interaction between Beijing and New Delhi.
This paper – which draws on a research project spanning a number of workshops in Beijing, New Delhi and Qatar, and involving influential thinkers and experts from China, India, the UK and Afghanistan – maps out specific ideas that policy-makers in Beijing and New Delhi can explore as avenues for co-operation.
Post-2014 Afghanistan will remain a major regional concern for at least the short to medium term. The earlier that China and India can develop workable collaborative undertakings, the sooner they can forge a stable and prosperous neighbourhood.
The paper is co-authored with Dr Shisheng Hu, Director of South Asia and Oceania Studies at the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations and Lieutenant General (Rtd) Ravi Sawhney, Distinguished Fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation. Many thanks to RUSI colleague Edward Schwarck for his support in drafting this paper.