Remember Afghanistan? From 2006 to 2011, while Canadian troops in Kandahar were fighting Taliban insurgents, Afghanistan dominated debate about Canadian foreign and defence policy. In the years since, the political and security problems of the troubled Central Asian crossroads have mattered less directly to Canadians.
When - or if - completed, a new natural gas pipeline would carry 33 billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan through three South Asian countries.
Pakistan and India would each purchase 42 percent of the gas; the remaining 6 percent would go to Afghanistan. Afghanistan would receive about $400 million per year in transit fees, equal to about 25 percent of the state's total domestic revenue in 2015.
On Monday November 23rd, CIC and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) hosted a panel to discuss a new CIC report on China’s One-Belt-One-Road initiative (OBOR), its impact on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and how it relates to United States efforts in the broader region.
Successive Afghan leaders have dreamed of turning their country into a "land bridge" or a "roundabout" of regional trade and cooperation.
Instead, their country -- metaphorically called "the heart of Asia" for its location at the center of Asia's landmass -- has attracted terrorists and covert wars clouding the country's future and raising questions over its very survival as a nation state.
A series of Chinese-financed infrastructure, energy, and transport projects has now raised hopes that the investments will help in establishing lasting peace in Afghanistan.
President Xi Jinping first presented China’s vision for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” during a 2013 speech in Kazakhstan. The idea was to “forge closer economic ties, deepen cooperation, and expand development in the Euro-Asia region”. In early 2015, the contours of Beijing’s strategy began to emerge as China’s leadership laid out plans for this “Silk Road Economic Belt” through Central Asia, and a “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” through Southeast and South Asia. China referred to both collectively as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR).