In the days following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, China has made public advances to bolster its relationship with the Taliban in an apparent effort to expand its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
"They’re gloating. This undoubtedly furthers Beijing’s narrative of the U.S. inevitable decline, which really started to be integral to China’s global strategic communications following the financial crisis in 2008," Heino Klinck, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia under the Trump administration, told Fox News.
Klinck said the perceived "economic weakness in 2008" played into China's strategy to persuade underdeveloped nations that the U.S. democratic capitalist system is failing.
"The debacle that we've seen recently in Afghanistan only furthers this long-standing Beijing narrative that we’re in decline," Klinck added.
Experts have questioned the authenticity of China’s intent to financially invest in the Taliban-controlled nation and suggest it is more likely an attempt to buoy the perception of the People’s Republic of China (PRC.)
TALIBAN CALLS CHINA ITS 'TRUSTWORTHY FRIEND'
"The immediate goal is to try to persuade people… that western-style republicanism – which was supported by the United States – is a failure," Eric Brown, a senior fellow specializing in Asian and Middle East affairs at the Hudson Institute, told Fox News. "And that the PRC's policy of Belt and Road Initiative, and the new international order that it wants to...
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