From the outbreak of the Afghanistan war in 2001 to the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops in 2014, China always kept a low profile, careful not to become involved or mediate in Afghanistan's domestic politics. This position seems to be changing; Afghanistan has been emerging as a strategic focal point in the regional ambit. Global and regional players (the United States, India, Russia, Iran and Pakistan) that have emerged as significant stakeholders are flocking to secure positions in the establishment of peace in the country. For a rising power like China, the increasing significance of Afghanistan in the regional strategic realm has spurred its bid for prominent standing through its role in multilateral diplomacy and economic development.
China has several advantages that other mediators lack, making it an ideal candidate to break the gridlock in Afghani conflicts and play the role of "honest broker." China has never intervened militarily in the Afghan conflict (neither aiding nor siding militarily with any faction) and thus carries no negative baggage from the past. Beijing has a relatively positive political image in Afghanistan, as it consistently promotes Afghan-led and Afghan-owned policy, respects the country's independence and sovereignty, and actively promotes political reconciliation there.1 It also enjoys a rock-solid partnership with Pakistan, which holds the key to bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. Furthermore, China is in a position to offer the parties to the conflict the incentive of economic development of the region in order to lure them away from armed conflict. This puts China in a position of being able to talk peace with all the major players.2
Moreover, diplomacy in Afghanistan helps Beijing cultivate the image of a mediator interested in bringing peace and stability to the country. This gives China both a more visible regional profile and higher stature, as well as enhanced national and international prestige. Nevertheless, these are not the only driving forces behind China's mediation diplomacy. Equally important is the growing imperative of gaining power and influence over the wider transformation of the regional balance of power. Beijing is using mediation to further its own economic interests and political influence in the countries and areas previously dominated by some of its strategic rivals.
This study examines China's growing engagement in facilitating the reconciliation process of Afghanistan. What is driving China's mediation diplomacy towards Afghanistan? How is China's approach expressed in Afghanistan? How will China make mediation diplomacy compatible with its longstanding policy of nonintervention? Does such practice suggest a change in China's foreign policy?
This study argues that China's mediation diplomacy in Afghanistan reflects both international and domestic elements and is part of a carefully devised conflict-management strategy that conforms to its nonintervention policy. China still adheres to its fundamental and uncompromising principle of nonintervention, though the policy evolves in accordance with changes and challenges in the region. While Beijing is becoming more deeply and proactively involved diplomatically in shaping the political and security developments in Afghanistan, it seems to prefer a second-tier role rather than the burden of leadership. Thus, the role of peace broker is a "legitimate way" of intervening in the domestic politics of other states to promote its own national economic interests and political influence without contravening its traditional principles.
MEDIATION AND NONINTERVENTION
Mediation is an integral part of foreign policy and instrumental diplomacy, derived from China's diplomatic and political goals, both domestic and international.3 Ways of dealing with or managing international disputes may range from avoidance and withdrawal, through bilateral negotiation, to various forms of third-party intervention.4 While definitions of mediation vary, it is commonly understood as intervention by more than one third-party in conflict-settlement efforts, for the purpose of improving the interaction or facilitating communication between the disputants.5 Mediation is a conflict-resolution tool that requires the acceptance and cooperation of the adversaries; as such, mediation efforts are initiated and undertaken only on a voluntary basis, and its proposals or recommendations are nonbinding.6
The practice of settling conflicts through mediators has had a rich and long history, in both Western and non-Western cultures.7 Mediators, like brokers, are involved in conflict management or settlement efforts, for profit or reward.8 In such a charged global and regional environment, mediation offers both. Benefits fall into four arenas: influencing the dispute, influencing the regional environment, influencing other mediators involved in the dispute, and influencing one's own constituency. Moreover, the nature and type of mediator (characterized by influence, support, security and status) is also an important factor in the motivation to get involved in the dispute.9
Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has refrained from engaging in international mediation initiatives for several reasons. First, the nonintervention principle remains at the core of its diplomatic philosophy. Second, Beijing believes that the role of a neutral onlooker, in most cases, is more advantageous for maximizing its national interests, leaving more room for maneuver in diplomatic efforts. Finally, China prefers to pursue diplomacy in a peaceful manner and avoid confrontation, unless an issue impinges on its core interests of sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.10 This trend, however, has begun to change as a result of the country's rising international status, coupled with the intensification of unresolved and newly emerging conflicts threatening its core interests and security.11
It is important to understand Beijing's constructive role in resolving regional conflicts in the Korean Peninsula, Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, which to some extent is a function of China's re-emergence as a power.12 Above all, one must try to understand the mind-sets, values, styles and skills China has brought to bear in its efforts. Its gradual, broader and deeper involvement in the resolution of conflicts abroad indicates the emergence of a unique mediation culture.13
In contrast to the Western mediation style that endorses the individualistic and utilitarian values of fairness, justice, equality, equity and autonomy, the Chinese style stems from a Confucian value system that incorporates social harmony, moderation, respect for authority, humility and benevolence.14 In Chinese culture, mediation reflects the values, traditions and practices central to arranging the social order, the world order and even the universal order in the pursuit of harmony.15
Chinese mediation, characterized by extreme flexibility in role-playing, is governed by two tenets. First, it is not confined to a rigid definition or label. Flexibility affords mediators room to maneuver, adapt to changing circumstances, and make adjustments, as required. Second, care has to be exercised in choosing between bilateral and multilateral channels of mediation. This is reflected in the different roles China has assumed in mediation: a chief mediator in multilateral negotiations; a participant in multilateral processes, mediating as required, privately and from the sidelines, on the basis of bilateral relationships; and a sideline mediator through bilateral channels. These are in addition to ad-hoc mediation, being a balancing force to ward off conflict.16
In the Middle East, the Western powers, Russia and regional powers are perceived to have manifold agendas and interests across the area, as does, by association, the United Nations, often perceived to be an instrument of the great powers. Therefore, their mediation diplomacy is frequently seen as a means of furthering their own specific interests and goals. Traditionally, China's stance towards the Middle East, as towards the other regions of the world, has been based on the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention in states' internal affairs.17
Nonintervention is a fundamental and generally uncompromising principle of China's foreign policy.18 It is clear, however, that there has always been a degree of flexibility and pragmatism in how Beijing conducts its foreign policy, especially regarding nonintervention.19 China will involve itself in the internal affairs of other countries only when its own national or economic interests are at risk.20
The Chinese leadership has always considered the Middle East the "graveyard of great powers," generally seeking to avoid becoming involved in the region's internal affairs or being perceived as aligning with particular countries or stakeholders.21 Yet, in recent years, China has gradually integrated itself into and expanded within the Middle East, and its foreign policy has become subtler and more sophisticated, revealing a growing inconsistency between its principles and practice. Consequently, despite its adherence to nonintervention,22 Beijing's more flexible and pragmatic interpretive approach is driven by China's growing need for imports of energy and raw materials to maintain domestic economic growth and stability. This continues to be a top priority for preserving the legitimacy of the Chinese regime.23
As the unstable political situation in the region has led Beijing to become more deeply and proactively involved, to protect its own interests,24 the Middle Eastern countries have increasingly come to expect China to be a stabilizing factor in the politics and security of the region and play an active role in conflict-settlement efforts.25 However, Beijing is not yet ready to take on such responsibilities. Instead, Chinese mediation diplomacy, based on conflict management rather than conflict resolution, prefers to offer diplomatic suggestions or to facilitate communication between the disputants (Syria, Sudan and Iran) to protect its own, mainly economic, stakes. Moreover, China is seeking a role in conflict management only by searching for political settlement through bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other great powers and regional organizations, to reduce violence or tension in conflicts (such as the Iranian nuclear crisis and the Syrian civil war).26
China's flexible approach has prompted it to develop certain criteria to enable it to act as a conflict manager and peace broker. Because mediation diplomacy is initiated and undertaken only on a voluntary basis, and its recommendations are nonbinding, China's mediation role is a "legitimate way" to intervene or influence the domestic politics of other states, while protecting its national economy, as well as promoting its political interests in the Middle East.27
More important, China's mediation diplomacy in regional conflicts should be perceived through the prism of the Chinese "characteristics" of conflict management. Beijing's willingness to play the role of mediator in Afghanistan is perfectly suited to its nonintervention policy, which is limited to hosting or participating in bilateral, trilateral and multilateral meetings, searching for a political settlement, and projecting a positive image as a reliable regional power or key stakeholder. Chinese mediation diplomacy always aims to include and mobilize all the concerned local forces or groups, with outside forces playing only a supporting role.
INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC ELEMENTS
Relations with neighboring states have always been important in Chinese foreign policy, always based on judicious considerations of history and geography.28 Beijing, which has generally maintained a low profile in Afghanistan, has been attempting to broker a peace settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban since 2014. China's mediation-diplomacy approach reflects both domestic and international elements in its foreign-policy considerations.
The domestic element relating to the Afghan conflict concerns the spheres of economy and security. Afghanistan presents a number of challenges that could pose a direct threat to China's national security. First, China is worried that religious militancy in Afghanistan will further fuel Islamist insurgency in China's own Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) bordering Afghanistan.29 The internal security and stability of XUAR are vulnerable to the spillover of terrorism and extremism. The Afghan-Xinjiang security nexus can be seen, in particular, in the close linkage between the Taliban and al-Qaeda and the "East Turkistan" terrorist groups.30 There is evidence that militants from the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang have occasionally received support and training in Afghanistan. A stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan is vital to the stability and security of China's northwestern border.31
Second, Beijing is concerned that Afghanistan has the potential to become the new base for the Islamic State,32 due to the movement's aspirations to extend its self-declared caliphate into XUAR. According to Afghan officials, after being battered and beaten in Iraq and Syria, the ISIS terror group is pouring foreign fighters into Afghanistan (an estimated 3,000), rebuilding its presence, and perhaps setting up a new base for attacks. They also fear those numbers are only likely to increase as ISIS fighters from Iraq and Syria leave those countries as part of an effort to regroup.33
Third, China is concerned about the flow of Afghan narcotics into the country, due to the geographic proximity and shared border. Afghanistan has become one of the largest sources of drugs trafficked to China.34 Indeed, Afghanistan is the opium capital of the world, producing over 90 percent of the world's opium for heroin production and supplying Europe with 95 percent of its heroin.35 According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an estimated 25 percent of opiates in China originate in Afghanistan, and its share is likely to grow in the years to come.36 China is particularly concerned over the link between Afghan drug trafficking and Islamist terrorism, which increases the risks of empowering Uyghur militants and other regional terrorists.37
China also has economic interests to advance in Afghanistan itself. According to the Central Statistics Office of Afghanistan, China is that country's third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching over $1 billion by 2015, and has become its largest source of foreign direct-investment.38 Afghanistan has the world's largest unexplored reserves of copper, coal, iron, gas, cobalt, mercury, gold, lithium and thorium, estimated at more than 1 trillion dollars.39 China is trying to gain access to these natural resources, such as the Aynak copper and oil reserves, by providing economic aid. Now, as in the past, Afghanistan's notorious security and corruption challenges have caused many potential investors to reconsider financial involvement in the country.40 China, thus, has a high interest in the stability of Afghanistan, to create a favorable environment for its companies and investments.
The domestic element is related to China's anxiety about a vacuum resulting from U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. This reflects Beijing's concerns about the deterioration of security and the impact this could have on the regional security architecture. The situation in Afghanistan has the potential to negatively affect China's One Belt, One Road Initiative (BRI), to build a network of overland road and rail routes, oil and gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects from West China through Central Asia to Europe — all this, while simultaneously developing ports and coastal infrastructure through South and Southeast Asia all the way to Africa and Europe.41 Afghanistan remains the greatest external destabilizing factor for Central Asian countries, and BRI's success hinges on the stability of the region. Instability in Afghanistan affects not only the future of China's role in Central Asia; it also makes it extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for BRI to succeed.42
Moreover, any instability emanating from Afghanistan would limit Beijing's expansive infrastructural and connectivity ambitions, such as China's $62 billion investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has been a target of militant activities and terror.43 As the Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, Yao Jing, has said, "Without Afghan connectivity, there is no way to connect China with the rest of the world."44
Finally, Afghanistan lies at the crossroads of South, Central and West Asia; hence its particular strategic value. China increasingly considers Afghanistan to be an important regional transport corridor. In this perspective, China could exploit Afghanistan to expand its Central Asian pipeline, which already runs across Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. A pipeline constructed in Afghanistan would profoundly expand Chinese influence in Central and South Asia.45 As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after a joint meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan, "In the long run, through Afghanistan, we will gradually connect the CPEC with the China-Central and Western Asia Economic Corridor."46
CHINA'S MEDIATION IN AFGHANISTAN
For decades, China has avoided a peace-making diplomacy or mediator role outside its borders. Although Afghanistan is a neighboring country, China traditionally maintained a low profile and carefully avoided being directly involved in conflict resolution. However, since late 2014, China has become more politically involved in promoting peace in Afghanistan while pledging to increase its economic assistance and development there after its transition into a stable country.47 Beijing has taken a part in the peace-building process and endeavors to bring about the reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government.48 China is also one of the few countries that have the willingness and ability to deploy substantial packages of economic assistance and investment. If appropriately targeted and coordinated, these could have a transformative political, economic and social impact on Afghanistan's future.49
Over the last three years, China has slowly been taking some diplomatic mediation measures to promote the Afghan reconciliation process. First, Beijing maintains contact through high-level diplomatic and military delegations with the Afghan government — through state visits, telephone calls, letters and representatives of the Chinese president.50 For example, in June 2017, President Xi Jinping met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Astana, Kazakhstan, during the seventeenth meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), to boost bilateral relations within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.51
Second, although China has already sent more than one envoy to Afghanistan, this was the first time in its history that the Chinese government established a special envoy for one specific country, with the authorization to facilitate bilateral and multilateral talks for the antagonists and concerned powers cooperating with other countries and international organizations. In 2017, Deng Xijun, China's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, meeting with the Afghan national security adviser,52 Pakistan's foreign secretary,53 the Army chief of staff of Pakistan,54 and the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,55 participated in the international conference on Afghanistan in Moscow in consultation with countries in the region.56
Third, Chinese diplomats initiated and participated in a multilateral mechanism of international and regional cooperation. The aim was to state China's position, put forward its proposal, and coordinate the interests of the concerned parties and major powers at the UN Security Council and other multilateral institutions. China has participated in the majority of international conferences and events regarding Afghan issues, such as the SCO mechanism,57 the UN 6+1 Dialogue,58 and the Istanbul process.59 China has also played a key role in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), with the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and since early 2016, six meetings have taken place to facilitate direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.60
Moreover, in addition to such multilateral efforts, Beijing uses its economic leverage and political influence in the region to persuade one or both sides of the conflict to reduce violence and reach peaceful coexistence. Beijing has hosted or participated in numerous bilateral and trilateral meetings seeking a political settlement in Afghanistan. China is an able coordinator among Afghanistan's neighbors, whose cooperation is essential to the resolution of the Afghan conflict. Beijing has launched bilateral and trilateral talks with the key players in the region — Pakistan, Russia, India and Iran — and has created mechanisms to discuss the Afghan question in collaboration with them: bilateral mechanisms with Pakistan and Iran, and trilateral mechanisms with Russia and India, Russia and Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Pakistan.61
Finally, China is attempting to improve the economic and social situation in Afghanistan by providing economic aid and strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. While China's aid to Afghanistan is less than that of some countries (India or the United States), it has provided Afghanistan with over $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid since 2001.62 At present, dozens of Chinese companies are deeply involved in the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and hold key mining and hydrocarbon concessions across the country. Beijing also offered 500 scholarships in the five years from 2015 to 2019, and trained 3,000 Afghans in various professions. Furthermore, China is investing in a housing project worth $300 million that will finance the building of 10,000 apartments in Kabul.63
China's mediation approach has sought to facilitate peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban since 2014 through its bilateral, trilateral and multilateral engagements. However, this approach has not achieved any significant breakthrough so far. Consequently, China is ready to settle for the extremely limited role of honest broker or one of the brokers in the negotiation process among the parties in conflict and provide a diplomatic platform to facilitate communications among them. Beijing's diplomatic efforts in the Afghan dispute will be mostly aimed at conflict management, by increasing economic aid and hosting and participating in Afghan bilateral and multilateral peace talks. This completely accords with its nonintervention policy, while at the same time earning China heightened recognition as a regional player and promoting its prospects of securing a distinctive status in the peace-building process in Afghanistan.64
Consistent with its longstanding commitment to nonintervention, Beijing had been careful not to insert itself directly in Kabul's internal affairs or exert its economic and political influence (e.g., find ways to revive peace talks with the Taliban or resolve the conflict).65 China's mediation approach has emphasized that political reconciliation has to be an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process supported by neighboring countries and the great powers. A cautious framework for supporting Afghanistan's transition and transformation has four elements: promoting peace and security, assisting in economic development, supporting the political reconciliation process, integrating Afghanistan into the region and strengthening international cooperation.66
More important, perhaps, China's growing political and diplomatic profile in the global arena requires it to assume a more assertive role in resolving regional conflicts. Aspiring to be a global power in all senses of the term, China has recognized that it cannot project itself as one if it doesn't take on the role of conflict manager and resolver. Afghanistan is a test case for China, since the situation involves varied dispute dynamics with both regional and global implications. Although Beijing has made strong efforts to be a key stakeholder in the multiparty talks on the Afghan peace process, it seems that China's mediation approach means that it prefers to take a second-tier role rather than vying for the burden of leadership.67 China does not want to act as a real problem solver, preferring to serve as a channel of communication,68 managing rather than resolving the conflict in Afghanistan.
For example, there is a tendency to think that China's heavy investments in Central Asia, Pakistan and eventually Afghanistan, under economic schemes such as the BRI and the CPEC, and its fear of militancy and terrorism would motivate China to put pressure on Pakistan, its "all-weather friend," to curtail its backing for terror attacks in Afghanistan. Yet this hope has not materialized thus far, and China's increased role has so far failed to dissuade Pakistan from supporting the Taliban or encouraging it to seriously support peace negotiations.69
In addition, Beijing remains reluctant to consider taking a role in helping Afghanistan strengthen its security and stability. Since 2015, China has contributed some funding and combat equipment for the Afghan security forces,70 and in 2016 offered to expand its military aid to the country.71 Still, China has no intention of sending combat troops or taking a security role within the sovereign territory of Afghanistan, as this could lead to a clash with some of the other actors or risk its becoming targeted by a terrorist movement or irritating its Pakistani ally.72 Nor is it ready to be directly involved in Kabul's internal affairs, filling the gaps left by the United States and NATO.73
Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that Chinese forces were patrolling in Afghanistan's Little Pamir region, near the Chinese border. To date, China has strongly denied reports that its military is conducting patrols within Afghanistan, but has conceded that "joint counterterrorism operations" with Afghan authorities are underway.74 According to senior Afghan military officials, China is building a military base for the Afghan armed forces in the province of Badakhshan. This promises a deeper Chinese military involvement in Tajikistan — necessary as a supply corridor to Badakhshan.75 China has every reason to do so, as the security situation in Afghanistan is important for the implementation of the BRI and CPEC. China is also concerned about the Uighur militants who remain active in the region and have professed support for the Islamic State. However, these recent moves are only part of China's anti-terrorism strategy for securing its western border, and not to increase its security involvement in Afghanistan.
To be sure, the Chinese decision to manage the conflict in Afghanistan by preoccupation with its own security and economic interests rather than the larger goal of building peace in the country has undermined its mediation diplomacy. Its selective and limited approach — the refusal to take on a security role or persuade one or both sides of the conflict to reduce violence and reach peaceful coexistence — could undermine China's credibility as peace maker.
On its way to a role of prominent global leadership, Beijing faces the dilemma of how to balance its increasing international responsibilities with its traditional foreign-policy principle of nonintervention and the contradictions this entails. The Afghanistan conflict is a test case for China's mediation diplomacy. Its willingness to play the role of mediator in the Afghanistan conflict is part of a carefully devised policy well-suited to its nonintervention policy framework, which is limited to hosting participants or being a key stakeholder in multiparty talks to manage the conflict. But so long as Beijing continues to content itself with the extremely limited role of honest broker while maintaining a strong commitment to nonintervention, its promotion of reconciliation in Afghanistan will remain meaningless and unproductive. It will earn criticism from all sides while failing to lead to any meaningful breakthrough. In playing the role of diplomatic mediator, China will never stand out above the other actors in the pack who would like to see peace in Afghanistan but are not willing to pay the price of genuine involvement.
1 Wang Yi, "Three Issues Should Be Properly Handled to Address the Afghan Situation," Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China, November 11, 2013, http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/zzjg_663340/yzs_663350/gjlb_….
2 Sudha Ramachandran, "China's Afghanistan-Pakistan mediation: Mission impossible," Asia Times, June 21, 2017, http://www.atimes.com/chinas-afghanistan-pakistan-mediation-mission-imp….
3 Saadia Touval, "Mediation and Foreign Policy," International Studies Review 5, no. 4 (December 2003): 91-95.
4 Jacob Bercovitch and Allison Houston, "The Study of International Mediation: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Evidence," in Resolving International Conflicts: The Theory and Practice of Mediation, ed. Jacob Bercovitch (Lynne Reinner, 1996), 11-36.
5 Kenneth Kressel and Dean G. Pruitt, Mediation Research (Jossey-Bass, 1989).
6 Saadia Touval, "Mediation and Foreign Policy," International Studies Review 5, no. 4 (December 2003): 91-95.
7 Philip H. Gulliver, Disputes and Negotiations: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (New York, Academic Press, 1979).
8 Saadia Touval, "Mediation and Foreign Policy."
9 Christopher Mitchell, "The Motives for Mediation," in New Approaches to International Mediation, eds. C. Mitchell and K. Webb (Greenwood Press, 1988), 29-51.
10 Wu Xiaohui (Anne) and Cheng (Jason) Qian, "The Art of China's Mediation during the Nuclear Crisis on the Korean Peninsula," Asian Affairs 36, no. 2 (Summer, 2009): 79-96.
11 Dan Large, "China's Role in the Mediation and Resolution of Conflict in Africa," Paper presented at the OSLO Forum 2008 — The OSLO forum Network of Mediators, Oslo, 2008, file:///C:/Users/moti/Downloads/Chinas_Role_in_the_Mediation_and_Resolution_of_Conflict_in_Africa.pdf.
12 Wang Nan, "Zhongdong Bianju Jiaju Diqu Shili Juezhu" [The Situation in the Middle East Aggravating the Competition of the Regional Forces], Yafei Zongheng [Asia & Africa Review] 4 (2012): 41; Chen Mo, "Zhongguo Nengyuan Anquan Xin Sikao" [New Thoughts on China's Energy Security], Xiya Feizhou [West Asia and Africa] 6 (2012): 94-112.
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14 Zhaoxing Li, "Peace, Development and Cooperation-Banner for China's Diplomacy in the New Era," Chinese Journal of International Law 4, no. 2 (January 2005): 677-683.
15 Jia Wenshan, Ma Yun and Libin Yang, "The Current Status of Mediation in Building and Sustaining Social Harmony in Rural China: A Case Study of Xunyang County, Shaanxi Province, P. R. China," Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 94th Annual Convention, TBA, San Diego, CA, 2009, <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p257842_index.html (accessed November 19, 2017).
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23 Francois Godement, "The End of Non-Interference," China Analysis, October 24, 2013, http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/China_Analysis_The_End_of_Non_interference_Oc….
24 Wang Yizhou, "Creative Involvement: A New Direction in Chinese Diplomacy," in China 3.0, ed. Marc Leonard. (London, European Council on Foreign Relations, 2012), 106-111.
25 Qian Xuewen, "Zhongdong Jubian dui Zhongguo Haiwai Liyi de Yingxiang," [The Impact of Middle East Turmoil on China's Overseas Interests], Alabo Shijie Yanjiu [Arab World Studies] 6 (2012), 51.
26 Francois Godement, "The End of Non-Interference," China Analysis, October 24, 2013, http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/China_Analysis_The_End_of_Non_interference_Oc….
27 Wang Yizhou, "Creative Involvement: A New Direction in Chinese Diplomacy."
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29 Minghao Zhao, "Afghanistan and China-U.S. Relations," in Exploring the Frontiers of U.S.-China Strategic Cooperation: Roles and Responsibilities Beyond the Asia-Pacific Region, ed. Melanie Hart (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2014), 26-33.
30 "The "Eastern Turkistan" terrorist forces are guilty," State Council Information Office, January 21, 2002, http://www.people.com.cn/GB/shizheng/3586/20020121/652705.html.
31 Mirwais Harooni, "Top Official Says Chinese Security Depends on Afghan Stability," Reuters, February 22, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-china-idUSBREA1L0D7201402….
32 Richard Weitz, "China and Afghanistan after the NATO Withdrawal," The Jamestown Foundation, November 17, 2015, http://jamestown.org/uploads/tx_jamquickstore/China_and_Afghanistan _ After_the_NATO_Withdrawal.pdf.
33 Jeff Seldin, "Afghan Officials: Islamic State Fighters Finding Sanctuary in Afghanistan," Voice of America, November 18, 2017, https://www.voanews.com/a/afghan-officials-islamic-state-finds-sanctuar….
34 Zhao Huasheng, "Afghanistan and China's New Neighbourhood Diplomacy," International Affairs 92, no. 4 (July 2016): 891-908.
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40 Mariam Amini, "China Gets an All-Clear from the Taliban to Mine for Copper in Afghanistan," December 16, 2016, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/16/china-cleared-by-taliban-to-mine-for-co….
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49 Andrew Small, "China's Caution on Afghanistan-Pakistan," Washington Quarterly 33, no. 3 (July 2010), 81-97.
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53 Saad Sayeed, "Pakistani, Chinese Officials Discuss Afghanistan Amid Tension with U.S.," Reuters, August 28, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-china/pakistani-chinese-off….
54 "Chinese Special Envoy to Afghanistan Meets General Bajwa," SAMAA, November 17, 2017, https://www.samaa.tv/pakistan/2017/11/chinese-special-envoy-to-afghanis….
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57 Hugo Chéné, "China in Afghanistan Balancing Power Projection and Minimal Intervention," Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, IPCS Special Report 179 (2015), http://www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/IPCSSpecialReport_ChinainAfghanistan….
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63 Arushi Kumar, "Why China's One Belt, One Road Matters for Afghanistan," South Asian Voices, May 12, 2017, https://southasianvoices.org/why-china-one-belt-one-road-matters-afghan….
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65 Antonio Giustozzi, "Afghanistan's Multicentered Regional Foreign Policy," in The Central Asia-Afghanistan Relationship: From Soviet Intervention to the Silk Road Initiatives, ed. Marlene Laruelle (London: Lexington Books, 2017), 67-87.
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67 Andrew Small, "After CPEC Tilted Priorities, China Is Now Happy with a Second-Tier Role in Afghanistan," The Print, August 23, 2017, https://theprint.in/2017/08/23/cpec-tilted-priorities-china-now-happy-s….
68 Vinay Kaura, "China Makes Diplomatic Play in Afghanistan," Middle East Institute, July 12, 2017, http://www.mei.edu/content/article/china-makes-diplomatic-play-afghanis….
69 Sudha Ramachandran, "China's Peacemaking between Pakistan and Afghanistan."
70 Andrew deGrandpre, "Three Countries Undermining Afghanistan Progress That President Trump Didn't Call Out," Washington Post, August 22, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/08/22/russia-ira….
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72 Hugo Chéné, "China in Afghanistan Balancing Power Projection and Minimal Intervention."
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74 Shawn Snow, "Chinese Troops Appear to Be Operating in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon Is OK with It," Military Times, March 5, 2017, https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2017/03/05/chinese….
75 Joshua Kucera, "Report: China Building Military Base on Afghan-Tajik Border," Eurasianet, January 7, 2018, https://eurasianet.org/node/86661.