The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Silk road a golden route for Afghanistan

By: Firooz Ahmad Ebrahimi

Part III

Although there is a difference between political statements and the performance of political elites in politics, and the essence of politics is not in diplomatic formalities but rather in the performance of the government and its political elites, China has always pursued soft diplomacy toward Afghanistan in order to maintain trade relations and seize economic opportunities. “Our policy towards Afghanistan is consistent and clear. We always respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, pursue a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, and remain committed to friendly relations with the people of Afghanistan,” said Wang Wenbin, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Kabul previously. “China respects the independent choice of the Afghan people for their future and destiny, supports the implementation of the principle of ‘guided by Afghans and belonging to Afghans’, and is willing to continue developing good neighborly relations, friendship, and cooperation with Afghanistan and play a constructive role in peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan,” Wang added. Economic aspect: In the previous parts of the article and other series of articles, the importance of economics in governments and Afghanistan’s core issues were discussed in detail. It is no secret to any wise person that Afghanistan needs economic growth and the alleviation of poverty in its domestic policy to achieve dynamic foreign policy and economic growth. Its new Silk Road is the starting point for this ideal, as the New Silk Road creates a gateway for transit and trade, establishing highways, roads, railway networks, river routes, and airfields as standards. A government cannot embark on economic growth without possessing these factors; it is not an exaggeration to say that government progress is not feasible without the reconstruction of transportation and transit infrastructures. From its inception to the present day, the Silk Road has been considered essential for trade and economic growth in Afghanistan. This route was a trade route for hundreds of years, connecting Asia with Europe and Africa. Although Afghanistan, due to its internal problems at the time, could not greatly benefit from this route, it still placed Afghanistan on the path of relative growth and progress. For years, Afghanistan exported its agricultural products, handicrafts, precious stones, and other products to the markets of the mentioned continents through this route. This led to a thriving trade and economy, and politically, it enjoyed good diplomatic relations and a popular position on the world stage. It managed to gain exceptional trust globally. However, with the emergence of railways and the significant growth of air routes, this once crucial route lost its significance in many aspects and had considerable adverse effects on the political and economic arenas of Afghanistan. After years of inactivity, Xi Jinping’s efforts to revive this route and his practical and determined actions for the people of Afghanistan were well received, undoubtedly presenting an unparalleled opportunity for countries involved in the field of economic growth, development, and trade. China initiated the revival of this route under the name “Belt and Road Initiative,” and the grand project once again connects Asia, Europe, and Africa, fostering the economic prosperity of the involved countries. The “Belt and Road Initiative” project reduces the distance between regional countries and the world, allowing traders to transport their goods at less cost and in less time. Afghanistan is one of the landlocked countries located in the heart of Asia and Europe. The “Belt and Road Initiative” provides favorable avenues for progress in Afghanistan and, with its geographical location, will serve as a regional crossroad. By participating in this grand project, Afghanistan can create economic opportunities and attract global investors, particularly in the mining sector, to engage in trade. The proper and informed implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative” project will propel Afghanistan into a new phase of economic development, reducing high inflation, unemployment, insecurity, migration, and drug addiction, which are top priorities for the government to address. Furthermore, Afghanistan is an agricultural country, and most of its people are engaged in agriculture. With the establishment of this route, Afghanistan’s agricultural products will be connected to global markets, preventing them from spoiling, which is a fundamental and hopeful achievement for farmers. If Afghanistan can quickly sell its agricultural products in global markets, it will have two benefits: trade will flourish, and farmers’ conditions will improve. Similarly, our handicrafts will find their way into international markets, paralleling the growth of the handicraft industry. In the future, these revenues will become a significant source of transformation for Afghanistan, propelling it towards a new and prosperous Afghanistan. Alongside this economic optimism, it would be more realistic to delve into another topic, namely, whether we can optimally utilize the available opportunities, whether we have the capacity and capability to implement this project or what challenges we face in implementing this project. We will address this topic in the next part of the article. Continue…

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.