With NATO Out China Will Link CPEC To Afghanistan

With NATO forces out of Afghanistan, the Russians will largely provide security in the region and China will be exploring the possibility of restructuring Afghanistan’s supply and trade chains after twenty years of war. Although several potential routes exist along the Wakhan Corridor and via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, here is why China is planning to link CPEC to Afghanistan.

With NATO Out China Will Link CPEC To Afghanistan

The Pakistan Connectivity Route

There are several options for China to develop trade routes with Afghanistan – the Wakhan Corridor, the finger of Afghanistan that reaches east to the Chinese border, existing trade routes via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and the potential to further develop the Karakorum Highway route through the Khunjerab Pass and ultimately via Peshawar to Kabul.

It is however, the southern Afghanistan connectivity that is likely to be developed first due to the northern routes via Wakhan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan being difficult and expensive, although that’s not to say they may not eventually happen.

With NATO Out China Will Link CPEC To Afghanistan

A more likely scenario for China to access Afghanistan is to expand and develop the existing road network through from Taxkorgan in Southern Xinjiang across the border to Pakistan and Gilgit.

This route, the Karakorum Highway, already exists and has been in use for decades, although it too is subject to weather extremes, the terrain is rather easier to engineer.

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This route, known as Highway 314 in China and the N35 in Pakistan, extends through from China as far as Islamabad, the Pakistan capital. A route from Islamabad, the N5, connects through to Peshawar.  

There has been significant discussions to extending the existing Chinese railway, which runs through to Kashgar and Yarkand, through the same Khunjerab Pass to Gilgit, on the Pakistan side, which has national rail connectivity to the rest of Pakistan.

In 2014, China commissioned a “preliminary research study” to build an international rail link to Pakistan. In 2016 this 682 km proposed railway link was reported to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and was to commence construction during the second phase of CPEC between 2018-2022.

However, the construction of this railway line was not mentioned in the CPEC Long Term Plan from 2017-2030 released jointly by China and Pakistan in 2017. China’s involvement in several rail projects in Pakistan is motivated primarily by commercial considerations, but it also sees distinct advantages for its improved transportation and access to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, as Pakistan’s national rail network connects through to Pakistan’s Seaports at Karachi and Gwadar.

Significant new investment has taken place at Gwadar to cater for Afghani trade, while China has also been developing Special Economic Zones in the Punjab region near Afghanistan.

The Peshawar-Kabul Connection

The Peshawar connection is also highly valuable. This is already operational as it is part of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline that bisects Afghanistan running West to East.

With NATO Out China Will Link CPEC To Afghanistan

That is supported by an existing road network providing maintenance and some trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s N5 highway runs from Islamabad to Peshawar and onto the Afghan border at Landi Kotal on the Khyber Pass to Afghanistan. From there it is now known as the AH76 which connects directly to Kabul – a five and a half hour drive.

The Afghanistan-CPEC Corridor

It is for these reasons that an extension of CPEC into Afghanistan and directly to Kabul looks the most likely option, while China’s Belt and Road connectivity with Afghanistan from its direct borders looks a longer-term play.

With NATO Out China Will Link CPEC To Afghanistan

The Wakham Corridor itself is only sparsely populated and at present offers minimal opportunities – unless any viable mineral extractions are within the region.

Accordingly, while China’s Pamir infrastructure build with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan can be expected to include the potential for future Afghan routes, a simpler, and less expensive solution for China to access Afghanistan is via the Khunjerab Pass from Kashgar into Pakistan and improving the existing Friendship Highway with links through to Islamabad and Peshawar.

That can be expected to be augmented with a reappearance of the proposed Kashgar-Gilgit railway with improvements also to be made to the Pakistan national rail network from Gilgit to Peshawar as part of this. Connectivity from Peshawar to Kabul then makes sense.

Excerpted from the Silk Road Briefings.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, and worth a second look! The Taliban should consider removing land mines, especially on the western border. After the U.S. experience, IMHO Iran has every reason to be friendly.

  2. If Biden supposedly ignored exmilitary officers strategy for troop and civilian withdrawal from Afghanistan then maybe he was listening to his chinese business partners. The article is a gold mine of information.

    That bass tard Biden needs to go by any means…..last straw.

  3. Fakeprez Bidet is dead or in carehome or Gitmo.Soooooooooooo much evidence of this if you pay attention.Trump is president.Bidet is a C.G.I.,clone,body double,or actor depending upon the circumstances.Lokk closely at photos and videos from last thirty years.Look carefully at eyes,ears,hands.He had to buy a private ride on a private plane to Fake inauguration farce which also had many anomalies. Worldbank has records of sending covd stuff worldwide in 2018.Have the report I.d. And other I.d.s.States got covd supplies in 2017/18 for a disease that supposedly didnt exist at that point.Have that video,too..Oleandrin,Estradiol,monoclonal antibody,AB8,Vitamin D,high dose vitamin C,stemcells,hyperbaric oxygen and Many other drugs or therapies supposedly really help.coreydiggs.com,Experimentalvaccines.o,medicalveritas.o,friendsoftheoriginalconstitution.o,stopthecrimes.org.Theinformedamerican.org Patriots4Truth.org,Truthbitsblog.com.Whatreallyhappened.com

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