By Raffaello Pantucci
First published by Reuters, February 15, 2016
Landlocked in the heart of Eurasia, Afghanistan sits in between superpowers. Previously this was Russia and the United Kingdom, using its territory as a chessboard across which they would plot intrigue against each other.
During more recent history, it became a covert battlefield between Russia and the United States as the wider ideological struggle between communism and capitalism was played out. Nowadays, however, a new momentum is building behind cooperation between two superpowers whose domestic security is linked to Afghanistan’s stability.
Beijing and Delhi’s ability to cooperate in Afghanistan is likely to be a key axis through which long-term Afghan stability will come.
Both China and India are already active players in Afghanistan. In November last year, Vice Premier Li Yuanchao visited Kabul and offered a package of $79 million for housing construction in the city. Just over a month later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the city to inaugurate the Indian built Parliament building.