China's Latest Move In The 'Graveyard Of Empires'

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Beijing’s strategic priority is to prevent ETIM fighters exiled in Afghanistan crossing the Wakhan Corridor to carry out operations in Xinjiang

The latest plot twist in the endless historical saga of Afghanistan as a graveyard of empires has thrown up an intriguing new chapter. For the past two months, Beijing and Kabul have been discussing the possibility of setting up a military base alongside Afghanistan’s border with China.

“We are going to build it [the base] and the Chinese government has committed to help financially, provide equipment and train Afghan soldiers,” Mohammad Radmanesh, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, admitted to the AFP.

“We are going to build it [the base] and the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers,” he reiterated.

On the record, the Chinese Foreign Ministry only admitted that Beijing was involved in “capacity-building” in Afghanistan, while NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, led by the United States, basically issued a “no comment.”

The military base will eventually be built in the mountainous Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory in northeastern Afghanistan that extends to China and separates Tajikistan from Pakistan.

It is one of the most spectacular, barren and remote stretches of Central Asia and according to local Kyrgyz nomads, joint Afghan-Chinese patrols are already active there. True to Sydney Wignall’s fabled Spy on the Roof of the World ethos, a great deal of shadow play is in effect. Apparently, this is basically about China’s own war on terror.

Strategic priority

Beijing’s strategic priority is to prevent Uyghur fighters of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), who have been exiled in Afghanistan, crossing the Wakhan Corridor to carry out operations across Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China. There is also the fear that ISIS or Daesh jihadis from Syria and Iraq may also use Afghanistan as a springboard to reach the country.

Even though the jihad galaxy may be split, Beijing is concerned about ETIM. As early as September 2013, the capo of historic al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, supported jihad against China in Xinjiang.

Later, in July 2014, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh said: “Muslim rights [should be] forcibly seized in China, India and Palestine.” Then, on March 1, 2017, Daesh released a video announcing its presence in Afghanistan, with the terror group’s Uyghur jihadis vowing, on the record, to “shed blood like rivers” in Xinjiang.

At the heart of the matter is China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or the New Silk Road, which will connect China with Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

For Beijing, the stability of one of its links, the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is seriously compromised if terror threats abound in Central and South Asia. It could also affect China’s sizable investments in Afghanistan’s mineral mining industry. 

The Chinese and Russian strategies are similar. After all, they have been discussed at every meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member. For the Russia-China partnership, the future of a peaceful Afghanistan must be decided in Asia, by Asians, and at the SCO. 

In December,  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told diplomats from fellow BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) member India that Moscow favors talking to the Taliban. He said this was the only way to reduce the risk of terror operations emanating from Afghanistan to Central Asia.

The question is which Taliban to talk to. There are roughly two main factions. The moderates favor a peace process and are against jihadism, while the radicals, who have been fighting the US and NATO-supported government in Kabul. 

Moscow’s strategy is pragmatic. Russia, Iran, India, Afghanistan and the Central Asian “stans” have reportedly held meetings to map out possible solutions. China, meanwhile, remains an active member of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) promoting a peace deal and reconciliation process which will include the Kabul and the Taliban.

Beijing’s multi-pronged strategy is now clear. Ultimately, Afghanistan must become integrated with CPEC. In parallel, Beijing is counting on using its “special relationship” with Pakistan to maneuver the Taliban into a sustainable peace process.

The appointment of Liu Jinsong as the new Chinese ambassador to Kabul is significant. Liu was raised in Xinjiang and was a director of the Belt and Road Initiative’s $15 billion Silk Road Fund from 2012 to 2015. He knows the intricacies of the region.

Six projects

Even before Liu’s arrival, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, had announced that Beijing and Islamabad would extend CPEC to Kabul with six projects selected as priorities. They included a revamped Peshawar-Kabul highway and a trans-Afghan highway linking Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Of course, that would neatly fall into place with a possible Chinese military base in Gwadar port in Pakistan, the Arabian Sea terminal of CPEC, and one in the Wakhan corridor. 

Now, compare the Russia-China approach with Washington’s strategy. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy involves defeating the Taliban on the ground before forcing them to negotiate with Kabul. With the Taliban able to control key areas of Afghan territory, the Trump administration has opted for a mini-surge.

That may be as “successful” as President Obama’s much-touted 2009 surge. The US government has never made public any projection for the total cost of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

But according to the Dec. 8, 2014 version of a Congressional Research Service document – the latest to be made public – it had spent up until then, $1.6 trillion on the invasion and military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Which brings us to the question: Why does the US remain in Afghanistan?

After more than a trillion dollars lost and nothing really to show for it, no wonder all eyes are now on Beijing to see if China can come up with a ‘win-win’ situation.


HRClinton Consuelo Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:14 Permalink

The reason that the US remains in Afghanistan, is the exact same reason it went into Afghanistan in the first place (albeit under totally fabricated reasons of 9/11 and OBL):

To delay and stop Silk Road South -- China, Afghanistan, Iran (now via Pakistan), Turkey and Europe.

All other "reasons" are smokescreens and tactical diversions from drawing attention to the strategic goal of Petrodollar hegemony. For without that monetary hegemony, the apartheid state of Ziosrael ends in short order. And their Global-Lust Banksters and billionaire (((Oligarchs))) will never allow that to happen.

In reply to by Consuelo

fx Laowei Gweilo Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:40 Permalink

"" After more than a trillion dollars lost and nothing really to show for it..."

I beg to disagree. The C!A for sure could show a lot for it, but for obvious reasons prefers not to, namely millions upon millions made from opium trade and arms deals. And other, well connected American companies have likely made a ton of money from extracting minerals that actually belonged to the Afghan people.


In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

2banana Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:04 Permalink

China in Afghanistan:

No silly rules of engagement

Are there for economic reasons

Treat muslim terrorists as terrorists

Will have a "don't fuck with us" attitude and the locals respect that

See the Afghan shithole culture/country for what it is

OverTheHedge Lost in translation Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:24 Permalink

Also, China, being a "dictatorship", will not have any interest in foisting "democracy" on the poor Afghans, so there is a good chance they will get a government that actually works, even if it isn't the western-style democracy we all know and love.

The American 15 year experiment with freedom in Afghanistan has taken its toll - perhaps a new form of government might be better for all concerned.

In reply to by Lost in translation

techpriest OverTheHedge Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

I was talking with my father-in-law about this, when the communists were in power.

He explained that Mao had a very simple policy with the Xinjiang Muslims: one person commits a terrorist act, and they murder absolutely everyone in the city. Men, women, children, everything. Then they burn whatever is left to the ground.

They did it 1,, maybe 2 times at most, and there wasn't any further trouble from that region for that period.


Like it or dislike it, but that was the policy, and that was the result.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

techpriest HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:17 Permalink

The last age took about 500 years to "recover," during which time the Christian monasteries kept all of the history and philosophy alive. Then it took another 500 years to build the university system, the great libraries, and the fundamental science that would permit a Renaissance and a modern era. Most of this work, again, was carried out by the Church.

And as soon as some progress was being made, dictators quickly appeared in the various institutions, and started using them as a way to enrich themselves. And they have been dumping on the people who did all the building for the last two centuries, though the work of undermining non-State institutions has been going on for longer.

And in so doing, the State is going to burn down a literal millenium of work, if we fail to preserve the knowledge of this age.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Laughing.Man Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:16 Permalink

Every empire expands and thinks they are the smartest people in the world. Saw a story on VICE a few years ago about the Chinese in the Republic of the Congo. Had a colored that spoke fluent Mandarin. Okay. Great. They taught one of the animals how to talk. The problem with Africa, and places like Afghanistan, is that peope are inbred. It will take generations to raise the IQ above 70. The average IQ in Africa is 70. The average. Think about that for a minute. That means half of the population has an average IQ below 70 and an IQ under 70 makes the person functionally retarded by by western standards. Once the IQ of the locals is above 70 the IQ of outsiders will have increased further. It is a race that cannot be won. The lower IQs ought to be grateful that we have moral standards and empathy. If it were not for that they would be killed like fleas and forgotten.

Can they dance? Bang a drum? Sure! Will they be able to actually contribute to western civilization? No. IQ requires generations of selective breeding to raise the IQ to a higher level. Civilized and educated people choose the best possible mate, based on past behavior, standards, and morals. Animals mate with the the first animal to dominate them. That is the difference between Western Civilization and Africa.

I think empires fail in many ways and the idea that you can change human nature always fails.

In reply to by Laughing.Man

MEFOBILLS HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:46 Permalink

Civilized and educated people choose the best possible mate, based on past behavior, standards, and morals


Civilized and educated people come from K selection.  K selection accelerated during the fourth ice ages, about 10 thousand years ago.

Effectively, the world can be divided between K's and R's.   Or, put another way, between Ice People and Sun People.  Ice vs Sun theory divides humanity into two types:  The K's are slow breeders, have a future orientation, use abstract concepts in their language, work with others for common goals, and use empathy.  

R's are fast breeders, have a now time orientation, do not have abstract concepts in their languages, do not work well with others, and lack in empathy.  R's are Sun peoples who evolved in the equatorial regions.  

NorthWestern White's (Caucasoids) and NorthEastern Asians (Hans) are the Ice people.  Some darker skinned caucasians are off-shoots of NW whites; ice people who interbred with more primitive equatorial R's.  Same goes for Southwest Asian's who represent more of a R type breeding strategy and behavior.

With regards to the China strategy, it can be seen as a defensive wall to keep out R selected low IQ Muslims along their border. It doesn't follow that China's one belt one road initiative means the movement of people, but instead is the movement of goods.

U.S. ((finance capitalism)) is the movement of both goods and people.  Finance Capitalism wants to take wage arbitage by importing labor, and that labor today is R type sun peoples.  Finance Capitalism wants to take wage arbitrage by exporting jobs to places like China. Chinese are K selected and can easily understand technology and science.  Finance Capitalism thinks only price matters, because it is a Jewish construct, and Jews are "international" chameleons, who care not for their host countries.  Jew's are K's who have become super parasites on other K's as well as R's.  Jews are K's that do not work well with others, but only within their in-group.  Islam has the potential to be a super parasite K problem as well, so it is imperative they never become high IQ through acquiring white DNA. 

Han's like Koreans, Chinese and Japan are NOT importing R's - they seem to have antibodies against this finance disease.  Han's also have a healthy distrust of Jewish style finance capitalism, as their economies tend toward industrial capitalism.

The west has two major existential problems:  Keeping out R's AND keeping out super-predator K's (Jews and the few Smart Muslims).

Honorable mention goes to home grown psychopaths, who we cannot detect among us due to the previous two problems.  Psychos are happy to go along with existing status quo.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

Polynik3s HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:15 Permalink

Anyone remember who created the fake War On Terror? Neocons aka New World Order USA traitors and Israel. As the USA Empire retreats from their 1100 military outposts, the USA will "poison the wells" aka create as much death and destruction as they retreat.

To some people, this sounds like a good military tactic. But let me assure you, this is the work of Satan's followers, and karma is a bitch. 

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

BrownCoat Polynik3s Mon, 02/12/2018 - 15:45 Permalink

The war on terror has two objectives: (1) use extraordinary means to control the US populace which would otherwise not be tolerated and (2) the continued flow of money to the Military-Industrial Complex. 

The Afghanistan venture is due to American hubris. The arrogant Americans bested the French by building the Panama after the French failed. The arrogant Americans wanted to show the French up again in Vietnam. That venture was a harbinger for the American Empire's decline. The arrogant Americans think they can do better in Afghanistan than the British Empire or the Soviets could do. Again, the Americans failed. 

In reply to by Polynik3s

BrownCoat Polynik3s Mon, 02/12/2018 - 15:52 Permalink

On the other hand, the US intervention in Afghanistan is distracting the Taliban from China's expansion. If the Americans leave, the Chinese will have to fill the power vacuum.

The Silk Road project will allow commerce and people to move quickly along the route. Just as mass transit systems allow city homeless access to airports, China will see all kinds of "diversity" pouring into China from the Silk Road. Improved trade will encourage, not prevent, ETIM fighters from entering the Middle Kingdom.

In reply to by Polynik3s

BobEore 2banana Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:38 Permalink

Having long ago given up the struggle to learn anything at all about the world outside their fishbowl...

the exceptionally dense exceptionalist prefers to project onto that same world the 'feeling quality' of what it must be like to live in a 'shitheads' psychic 'shithole' of ignorant xenophobia and contempt for all others who lack that

'brand' upon their backsides...

"Merikan made" ... the only thing left "made in A merica"

be a 'death to america' cult of freaky weirdo dudes whose bad attitudes are laced with a misplaced sense of superiority bizarrely triangulated to an even more psychotic 'we must all die' Jonestown type of defeatism which is

the crowning achievement of half a centuries' worth of kabbalistic culture war topped off with a pharmaceutical cabals' provision of the tools to take them where they wanna go. Afghans gonna be manning those passes still long after those twisted tards are dust

all over agin! Don't fuk with us? "Go tell it on the mountain" boy. Then lay your bones down n die.

In reply to by 2banana

Wild E Coyote 2banana Mon, 02/12/2018 - 09:21 Permalink

China will have a "don't fuck with us" attitude which locals respect? You sure?

Afghan Taliban is terrorist group only because US say so. Afghans did not go to America to attack WTC in 911. Osama is not a Afghan and he was not even there. Osama was supposedly killed in Pakistan. Afghans did not terrorise any of their neighbors. Most terrorist acts were done by Saudi terrorists like Osama and his fellow of Arabs. 

Afghans have been fighting to send foreign soldiers back to their homes or heaven. China will be no different. The best deal that China can bring to the table is a plan to get US out of Afghanistan. Only that will be attractive to the brave Afghans.

Only shithole countries need to send soldiers and people to other countries to look for wealth and oil to steal, like British, France, Portugal, Spain and other idiots who think they are civilized. 

Americans don't want to go out of America. This does not sit well with the real rulers of Fed in Britain and Israel. The real shithole countries which cannot live within their means.

In reply to by 2banana

khnum Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:10 Permalink

Why? it started with pipelines Karzai was originally a Unocal consultant but now they have discovered about a trillion dollars worth of rare earth minerals all major players are now interested in the place.Trump has stated he wants this wealth to pay the war bill.

css1971 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:17 Permalink

The US empire is on the "decadence" stage by the looks of it. With welfare (bread) and games... well games...

I'm wondering who the barbarians are going to be.  Russians, Chinese, Mexicans or Muslims.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 css1971 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:40 Permalink

Good question. I concluded, quite some time ago, that lots and lots of people will be sacrificed and die. How? Well cut off EBT/SNAP and the ghettos burn in a few days and starve within a few weeks. Not complicated. Most people can't cook and many are horrified by the thought of eating a dog, rat, cat, raccoon, squirrel or possum, and don't have a clue about how to do anything useful other than beg or suck the government tit. Fine. I say let them starve. I will eat anything. My neighbor catches plenty of rats. Not a fan of eating omnivores but if it comes down to it I plan on surviving. Whatever that takes.

In reply to by css1971

Low IQ fan of VVP css1971 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 19:53 Permalink

It's obviously going to be the Chinese, they're the one most thirsty for everything, from water, land, resources, etc. Russians don't need anything else material, nor would they be up for any more conquering, even as partners of the Chinese...maybe the rest of Europe in trying to keep Christianity intact with a restored homeland but that should be about it. The relationship between Chinese and Russian seems somewhat like the Germans and the Japs back then as they aren't partner in conquest, but more like mates--Germany and Japan barely cooperated much in WW2; so it's only in the World Island China and Russia might act as one to back each other up there while out in the far-reaching area the Chinese would be pretty much on their own--Russia would not be actively involved in sharing responsibility in the frontline for any Chinese "great leap forward", though the Russian may act as sort of a guard dog and for the World Island home front and provide support in the background.

With Muslims/Blacks the Russian and Chinese should likely try to keep them at bay in Africa and the Mediterranean, as opposed to the West that seems to purposefully cause them to migrate to everywhere; if the Chinese want to colonize America they surely don't want to deal with a lot Blacks/Muslims already here--they would likely want a cleaner slate just like with the Natives, and as far as the Chinese are concerned Whites American are the "natives"--maybe a few Blacks and Mexicans as surely they should also have recognized that much of the non-Whites that America currently has would perish quickly in the early days of any conflict so there's no need for concern about having too many of them still around to deal with.

Regarding the Mexican...they wouldn't hold a candle to the Chinese; they would be quickly outcompeted by the Chinese as the Chinese, if they come for a "fucked-up-beyond-recognition" America (not quite there yet obviously), would be operating on an empire mentality not unlike all of the Northern Barbarians that established themselves in China in the past--America won't just be a outpost colony like the 13 Colonies but an integrated part of a Chinese superstate (sort of like France with its "colony" of Guiana, Mayotte, etc.); The Mongols, Manchus and other barbarians didn't make China a colony--they simply became Chinese in a sense by virtue of being the ruler of it. Mexicans if they resisted would simply be dealt with en masse as they would be seen as "invasive pest" that's similar to being "not the main course of a meal"; in historical context it would be like the Mongols wiping out the Tanguts when the prize they were really after were the Song dynasty Chinese--the Tangut were simply killed as they were "annoying" to the Mongols rather than the Chinese who the Mongol actually had some respect for.

In reply to by css1971

francis scott … Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:38 Permalink

I always wondered where the Chinese were going to make their debut 

outside of East Asia.  It tells us how much more important Afghanistan

is in the scheme of things than Syria.  

And just when Tump was going to double down there.  


No doubt this move of these chess pieces on the Big Chess Board

was advised by Grandmaster Putin. 

BobEore francis scott … Mon, 02/12/2018 - 04:52 Permalink

In the real world... outside, in other words, of his fanbouys fantasies,

" Grandmaster Putin"


is Nattyahoos' lil butt buddy and dogsbody... attending upon the plans of the RUSSO-TALMUDIC mafiyas' HQ in the s e Med with an attention worthy of those who know their place...and genetic lineage. Just another MISCHLINGER ...

IN OTHER WORDS... among a cast of cast off half caste hebraics like Hitler... Stalin... LBJ... and most lately

the REAL donALDo Drumpf... Vlad... according to good buddy Abramovitch(most dangerous mobster in the world tm)qualifies for Sraeli citizenship according to their somewhat rigid rules of 'right of return'... and

has agreed to place 'mother Russ' in the position of junior partner in the forthcoming EURASIAN ENERGY CARTEL which is gonna explode so many fake news narratives and fanbouy fantasies... any day now... as to make the gunpowder mustache on the mug of Senor Wiley E Coyote... look like a Clark Gable trace in comparison.

Grandmaster Putin.  he he heh... better git it in yur soul boy!


better bring a check around suckas

In reply to by francis scott …

Infinite QE BobEore Mon, 02/12/2018 - 06:14 Permalink

Trying to connect a few dots: One being your reference to the soon to come energy cartel, and a probable substantial increase of cost o'living to the energy dependent AND the Drumpf's slapping tariffs on solar panels coming from China. Connected?

So would a survival technique involve getting as energy independent as one can, as soon as one can? And is solar the best solution at the given time?

In reply to by BobEore

BobEore Infinite QE Mon, 02/12/2018 - 07:08 Permalink

The (short term)goal of the cartel will be more on political levels - to carve Germany off while further enfeebling the economies of the rest - than socio-economic impacting the individual... and much for upon Europe than the other side of the pond.

The millennialist madmen running this shitshow are 5 steps ahead of anyone still planning out a strategy for being a 'soul-survivor' of this coming 'mother of all' genocides - unfortunately -

those petro nazgul which spray all the toxins into your air also are destroying the solar energy sphere - I've noticed that once those things are done laying down their fake clouds overhead, my energy-gathering is DONE for the day. And that's here - in Asia, where I believe that their presence is far less prevalent than back in the fallen lands.

While I remain a strong proponent of solar(mobile NOT fixed!)as an essential part of every s s's plan, therefore, its not the same as it was, and therefore, the 'best' solution of the moment must involve a disciplined decreasing of energy requirement over all, and a willingness to evolve into both mobile and 'downscaled' living arrangements so as to be not dependent upon a fixed location for survival.


In reply to by Infinite QE

MusicIsYou Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:45 Permalink

So basically China and the U.S are both in Afghanistan because they're both dying countries. Russia isn't stupid, so Russia is reducing their profile in the Mideast so they can let the U.S and China die there.

Singelguy MusicIsYou Mon, 02/12/2018 - 07:33 Permalink

Have you been hibernating in a cave? China is growing and evolving. Last night, I watched a film that was entirely shot in Shanghai, “The Shanghai Job”, starring Orlando Bloom. I was amazed at the skyline shots of the city. New York looks like a 3rd world shit hole in comparison. Consider for a moment that 20 years ago, China had no highway network. Now, it rivals the USA. The same holds true for rail and airports. 

In reply to by MusicIsYou

MusicIsYou Mon, 02/12/2018 - 02:52 Permalink

The last time the Russians were massively fighting in Afghanistan the Soviet Union fell apart a few short years later. That'll be the fate of the U.S and China as well because they're only there because they are currently falling apart. Most people are too big of zombies to realize the U.S is in the Mideast because the U.S is falling the fck apart.

MusicIsYou Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:01 Permalink

Do you folks ever hear those mysterious booming sounds in the atmosphere also called the Seneca Guns? That's the sound of giant mystic hammers building the big fcking coffin for the U.S.

keep the basta… Mon, 02/12/2018 - 03:12 Permalink

China is not falling apart, it is growing. It had the opium issue with England forcing it in the 1800s and opium wars, not interested in opium.

Clearly it has a border and is watching out. Knowslike Russia a healthy Afghanistan is a win win for border countries. Anyway it's interesting to see.

Usa has many reasons to keep it in Afghanistan and lots have worked on that decision.its not a question of win or lose, imo its bigger than that.

 The question re whom in Afghanistan Russia would talk too, my view is both. Negotiate.mediate.