Professor Cornell on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the impact of the Taliban on China


The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the ensuing chaos present a “complicated situation” for China, a Cornell professor told CNBC.

“On some level, what is happening in Afghanistan could be seen as a victory for China because it suggests that the United States has a lot of weaknesses in terms of intelligence … for productive purposes,” Street told CNBC on Tuesday. Signs Asia “Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University in New York.

America’s “long and unproductive involvement” in Afghanistan has been a “black eye” for US foreign policy, said Prasad, former head of the China division of the International Monetary Fund.

“It will certainly knock the United States down by one or two points in the eyes of the rest of the world, although it is far from clear that the outcome in Afghanistan by itself (…) will not grow. any country deeper into China’s economic and political embrace, “he said in a separate email.

Afghanistan fell under Taliban control when the militant Islamist group seized the capital Kabul more than a week ago. The Taliban have made rapid progress across the country since the United States began withdrawing military forces in Afghanistan before the August 31 deadline.

I think Beijing is probably going to cheer up in the short term – but who knows, it might have problems in the long term.

Eswar Prasad

professor of trade policy, Cornell University

Concern in Beijing over the resurgence of the Taliban

A Taliban takeover could also cause its own problems for China, Prasad said.

There is legitimate concern in Beijing about what a resurgence of the Taliban and other extremist groups might mean for China’s internal stability because “it’s hard to imagine that it will not cross the border of a one way or another, “he said.

Learn more about developments in Afghanistan:

There are two possible scenarios with extreme possibilities, said Victor Gao, vice president of the Center for China and Globalization.

One is for the Taliban to embrace reform and peace, and the other is for the Taliban to revert to their old ways – to what they were 20 years ago, Gao told CNBC on Tuesday.

“This will pose a great threat to the Afghan people, but also to neighboring countries and regions like China’s Xinjiang region, for example, and will put many people at risk.”

Prasad added: “So I think Beijing is probably going to be happy in the short term – but who knows, it might have problems in the long term.”

Chinese media portrayed the US pullout in a negative light. Chinese state media Global Times published an op-ed on Monday attributing the defeat of the Afghan government to the withdrawal of US forces.

The “void” left by the American withdrawal

The precipitous withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan also raises questions, pointed out Prasad of Cornell.

“There are questions as to whether – even if the United States is engaged in the short term in a particular country or region – whether the commitment can be sustained, or is credible in the longer term, and also whether the ‘engagement could end in a very messy fashion, as we are seeing right now, ”he said.

Meanwhile, there are questions about who will fill the void left by the “weak” US engagement in the region, Prasad said.

“The question is whether there is an alternative power that can, again, fill the void that might be created by the perception of weak US commitments or a weak US capacity to deliver on those commitments.”

– CNBC’s Abigail Ng and Natasha Turak contributed to this report.


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