The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Silk road a golden route for Afghanistan

By: Firooz Ahmad Ebrahimi

Part II

Another economic advantage of this project
is that it connects landlocked countries to the
sea, and Afghanistan’s geographical reality
is such that it is landlocked

The New Silk Road project, which was one of the fundamental goals of the Chinese government after Xi Jinping came to power, could connect the economic foundations of the region, and undoubtedly, this was a significant achievement. For a country like Afghanistan, which has been grappling with internal crises for years and has needed the support of other countries, this is a significant and valuable opportunity to engage itself in regional economic transactions while safeguarding its economic interests and stepping into the arena of economic prosperity. Therefore, it is imperative for Afghanistan not to miss this opportunity and to contribute actively to its launch. The New Silk Road can revitalize this country in terms of its historical significance and the importance of regional and global economic flows, particularly regarding transit and favorable trade. However, it should not be forgotten that this project is significant for Afghanistan and needs to foster its economic growth and internal stability. China and the project stakeholders must collaborate to ensure its smooth adaptation, as Afghanistan holds a pivotal position regionally and geographically. Another economic advantage of this project is that it connects landlocked countries to the sea, and Afghanistan’s geographical reality is such that it is landlocked. Therefore, Afghanistan must participate in this project, as agriculture, handicrafts, and mining are among their characteristics, and there is a need to sell them to reach desired markets. By participating in the “Belt and Road” project, Afghanistan will have the opportunity to connect to Asia and Europe and deliver its products to these countries’ low-consumption markets. Given the significant importance of the Silk Road project and its implementation in Afghanistan’s context in various political, economic, security, and social aspects, it is essential to discuss it com prehensively in specific areas. Some aspects benefit from one axis, while profound contradictions arise from another perspective. If calculated, the overall disadvantage outweighs its benefits. Therefore, it is necessary to elaborate on the discussion in specific axes. Political aspects: Afghanistan has experienced relationships with various powers over many years, and if we look at it from the perspective of learning lessons, it carries a burden of political experiences. The country has sometimes been involved in political relations and occasionally in foreign policy with all the world’s powers. Sometimes, the lack of proper clarification of foreign policy, sometimes the lack of a precise definition of foreign policy priorities, sometimes severe internal needs and Afghanistan’s inability to meet the power’s interests, and sometimes the immaturity of foreign policy doctrines have led to these relationships gradually being sidelined and reduced to mere dry diplomatic relations, losing their dynamism in Afghanistan’s foreign policy. Before we immerse ourselves in the joys of this opportunity, we must deeply consider the positive and negative political consequences of this issue. In the first part, we need to examine China’s position in the international order, whether this project is a political claim or a comprehensive and planned initiative aligned with China’s fundamental priorities, as outlined in the initial programs of the Ministry of Economy, and whether its headlines are the top news of that country? Suppose convincing and hopeful answers are found to the questions raised. In that case, China’s foreign policy should be precisely articulated through foreign policy doctrines and reviews to determine where the New Silk Road project stands among China’s political priorities, what benefits it gains from implementing this grand project and how much it is willing to invest in its implementation. It is still necessary to assess what we are sacrificing by joining this initiative. It is evident to everyone that China’s economic model is entirely economy-oriented, and China’s singular effort in its foreign and domestic policies has been economic growth. If we are to discuss it reasonably, despite ups and downs, its economic growth has been significantly progressive. Additionally, China’s perspective on regional and global levels is an economic one, and countries that can assist it in achieving its economic projects are prioritized in its foreign policy axis. On the other hand, America stands against China, seeking to contain it for years. It is not a baseless claim to say that if we consider closeness to China as distance from America, then Afghanistan is with America. On the other hand, Afghanistan has years of experience in relations with America at the forefront, which, apart from poverty, weak and intermittent infrastructure adaptation, cultural war advancement, military use of Afghan soil, and interference in internal affairs, has not yielded anything. However, Afghanistan can delineate its red lines clearly through the launch of this project with a transparent contract and clear diplomacy and narrow the opportunity for misuse of its soil. In that case, it undoubtedly emerges as the winner. India is another opponent of implementing this project, and its reasons have been clarified in the first part of the article. However, if Afghanistan can maintain its neutrality in its relations with China, Pakistan, and India, severe damage will not be inflicted on these countries’ relations. It should not be expected that India will make previous investments in this Emirate government, as previous Indian investments were entirely in line with America’s policies. India has a clear and defined foreign policy perspective, and its politics are less complex. Continue…

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.