China’s Power: Up for Debate 2021 - Debate 3 on China and Afghanistan and Keynote Remarks by U.S. Senator Steve Daines
As part of our sixth annual conference, the China Power Project will host a third debate on December 14 at 8:45 am ET that will feature two experts debating the following proposition: “Within the next two years, China will establish itself as the most influential external power within Afghanistan.” The debate will be followed by keynote remarks at 10:15 am ET by Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) on Congress’ outlook on the challenges and opportunities posed by China’s growing power.
Following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, China has taken measures to support the new Taliban-controlled government, including keeping its embassy open, donating vaccines and aid, and engaging in high-level diplomatic meetings with Taliban officials. Some experts and military strategists believe these actions are signs that Beijing seeks to bring Afghanistan more deeply into its geopolitical orbit. Some envision a future in which Afghanistan stands as a major partner in China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative and the Taliban closely cooperates with Beijing on national security issues such as terrorism. However, others believe China will not be able to secure a significant foothold in Afghanistan due to regional instability, previous failed economic partnerships, and even Beijing’s own concerns about getting too involved in the country.
Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, Senior Fellow for the Center for International Strategy and Security (CISS) at Tsinghua University and China Forum expert, will argue that within the next two years, China will establish itself as the most influential external power in Afghanistan. Dr. Seth Jones, Senior Vice President, Harold Brown Chair, and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS, will argue that within the next two years, China will not establish itself as the most influential external power in Afghanistan.
Following the debate, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) will deliver keynote remarks on Congress’ outlook on the challenges and opportunities posed by China’s rise. Senator Daines has served as a U.S. Senator for Montana since 2015. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Senate U.S.-China Working Group, which works to strengthen U.S. dialogue with China through monthly briefings to share expertise from key business, academic, and political leaders. In addition, Senator Daines is a Commissioner on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which works to establish a framework of relations with China on a wide variety of issues such as human rights, civil society, and rule of law. He also serves on the Senate Committees on Finance, Banking Housing and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; and Indian Affairs.
This debate is available in Chinese here.
This event is made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.