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Following the recent bilateral summit between the Manmohan Singh and Xi Jingping, we ask Indian and Chinese researchers to offer their different perspectives on future policy in Afghanistan.
As Afghanistan approaches the 2014 inflection point, the question of what role regional neighbours will play is of growing interest and importance. Just this past weekend, Russia, China and India held their 12th formal trilateral foreign minister’s meeting at which a number of common foreign and security policy issues were highlighted, including Afghanistan.
Directly asked a question about China’s role in Afghanistan post-2014, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted how all three were concerned about Afghanistan’s future and that China was particularly eager for ‘a smooth general election,’ for an ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ reconciliation process and for the United Nations to play a role in coordinating international efforts.
This meeting came in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing last month during which Afghanistan did not feature very high on the agenda. Afghanistan is clearly one of many concerns on the table between the two great powers, but understanding what China and India plan to do post-2014 is key to knowing to what degree Afghanistan will be able to call upon regional support in the absence of western focus. In order to understand this dynamic better, RUSI has undertaken a research project focused on China and India in Afghanistan, seeking to develop policy ideas and understand thinking in Beijing and New Delhi about Afghanistan’s future.
As part of this, we ask why Afghanistan did not feature as a prominent topic of conversation during Prime Minister Singh’s recent visit to Beijing. We ask Indian and Chinese researchers to offer their different perspectives, reflecting the divergent priorities and interests in Beijing and New Delhi.
As this project goes forward, RUSI hopes to publish more research on this topic, highlighting the many different aspects of actual and potential cooperation between China, India and the United Kingdom.
The India Perspective
The China Perspective