On September 18, 2012, the Jamestown Foundation hosted an event entitled “Understanding China's Role in Central Asia and Afghanistan.” The event featured Dr. Pan Guang, Vice Chairman of Shanghai Center for International Studies at Shanghai Academy and Dr. Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, who provided additional remarks.
Dr. Pan addressed China’s role in Central Asia and Afghanistan. He explained China’s interest in fighting terrorism and extremism in the region as well as China’s interests in containing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promoting energy and economic development, and supporting Afghanistan in its post-war reconstruction. Like the United States, China is interested in tackling issues such as transnational crime, illegal immigration, environmental degradation, water resource shortage, and emerging public health issues. Beijing however, has different views of political reform in Central Asia, the alignment of energy pipelines in the region, and the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. Dr. Pan also provided his insight on China’s role in Afghanistan and its implications for U.S.-China relations. Dr. Weitz was also a discussant and provided additional remarks on the security situation in Central Asia and Afghanistan, as well China’s role and interests there.
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