What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

China in Afghanistan

Michael Vines at the New York Times weighs in on the (Western) debate over the rights and wrongs of China's natural resources-related investments abroad. From his predictably incoherent account of the "dragon" with that "voracious" apetite, one may learn that the Chinese are these supersmart, superstrategic calculators when it comes to investments and that their buying into the Aynak copper mine might have been foolish greed. Or that NATO may have unfortunately "conducted an unacknowledged preparatory phase for the Chinese economic penetration of Afghanistan" while benefitting from the fact that someone had the courage to invest there eventually, and that this may allow the Afghan government to cover more of the costs of the Afghan security forces instead of the West...
The article comes as the Aynak investment is the subject of an anti-corruption investigation - reflecting on this Thomas Ruttig rightly observed the other day that it strongly smells "as if at least a part of the anti-corruption fight is for US business dominance." This is amazing, in a negative sense, as the Aynak investment is something that indicates a Chinese readiness to more constructively engage the challenges in Afghanistan (and Pakistan). Viewing Chinese foreign policy as the single-issue policy of a voracious dragon with an insatiable apetite is just the perfect justification to have only a single-issue policy about it, I guess.

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