India, China to undertake a joint economic project in Afghanistan
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day informal summit in the city of Wuhan has been historic for more reasons than one. Among promises of improving bilateral ties and combating cross-border violence, the leaders, in a first, agreed on Saturday to work together on an economic project in a third country - Afghanistan - to aid its development. Here's more.
Why are India and China interested in Afghanistan?
This isn't India's first attempt to help war-ravaged Afghanistan. India has already contributed billions of dollars in building, refurbishing the country's broken infrastructure. China, meanwhile, is an emerging player, largely fueled by its concerns to keep Beijing safe from terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State. This decision, however, of India and China working together in Afghanistan isn't going to go well with Pakistan.
It won't be easy
No peace/reconciliation process can be carried out successfully in Afghanistan without including Pakistan, such is its influence in the region. But Pakistan has always opposed India's presence in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, China has been engaging a lot with Pakistan lately, making the entire situation complicated.
China has been trying to work out the Pakistan-Afghanistan situation
China and Pakistan were part of a quadrilateral process with the US and Afghanistan, which tried and failed to make the Taliban agree to a truce. China held a trilateral meeting with Pakistan and Afghanistan's foreign ministers in Beijing in December 2017 to work out the differences between the two nations. China also has plans to extend its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan.