The choice of China as the first destination for an official state visit, by Ashraf Ghani, barely a month following his arduous ascent to the Arg, symbolized a re-sequencing on the regional chessboard. Ghani’s new policy gambit of attempting to harness Beijing’s political clout marked a paradigm shift in the quest to achieve elusive peace. It involved a pivoting away from New Delhi, albeit briefly.
What do these rapid alignments and re-alignments reveal about the anatomy of geo-political dynamics in the region, particularly in relation to Afghanistan? What are the likely implications of these shifts? These questions will be engaged with in light of the historical trajectory of Sino-Afghan relations, particularly since 2001 to underscore the changing depth and texture of Beijing's growing engagement with Kabul.
About the Speaker
Raghav Sharma is an Associate Professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs. Prior to this he has taught in the Conflict Studies and Management Program and the Good Governance Afghanistan Program at the Willy Brandt School Of Public Policy, University of Erfurt. He has also been associated with the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi in his capacity as a a Visiting Associate Fellow where he led two Research Projects on Indian membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and examining the Indian and Chinese roles in Central Asia. Both projects were commissioned by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. As Research Officer at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies he published extensively on issues of strategic importance for Afghanistan and Central Asia.
He has also been associated with the development sector having worked and traveled extensively across Afghanistan in his capacity as an International Humanitarian aid worker and having undertaken consultancies for the Aga Khan Foundation and Community World Services in Kabul. He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science with a specialization in Conflict Studies from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt, a graduate degree in History from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi and in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University, Budapest.
In the presentation, the speaker showed the result of the field work he had conducted both in China and Pakistan and presented provisional evaluation of CPEC projects.
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