China has been emerging as a major power bringing peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This matters significantly as worrying nations could defuse mutual tension. China’s relation with Pakistan are most pleasant. The recent China-Pakistan-Afghanistan dialogue in Kabul was the most significant peace process held in years. China and Pakistan discussed new changes in Afghanistan. Both sides believe that military alone cannot solve all the issues in Afghanistan. The US plans to withdraw all of its 14,000 troops in Afghanistan. In that case, China and Pakistan also need to chalk out their plan. Meanwhile, China has been using its influence to make a change inside Afghanistan. The purpose is to create friendship between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meeting in Beijing, the Chinese Government’s top diplomat State Councillor Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a “deep discussion about new changes to the situation in Afghanistan and reached a consensus.” Both sides believe that military means cannot resolve the Afghanistan issue, and promoting political reconciliation is the only realistic way. Wang Yi visited Kabul earlier in the month of December, where he pledged to help Afghanistan and Pakistan overcome their long-standing suspicions of each other. China’s main concern in Afghanistan is the situation in Uighur-dominated Xinjiang region where there is Afghan influence and that must be mitigated. China has to see how to look after Afghanistan post-US withdrawal. The war-torn Afghanistan has become increasingly important for China’s own security, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, a huge trade and infrastructure plan in the near future and the BRI would be incomplete without fully incorporating Afghanistan Beijing approves of greater cooperation on security and is willing to provide support and help to both Pakistan and Afghanistan to improve ties. The long-standing suspicion between Pakistan and Afghanistan can also be resolved by China. China has better options inside Afghanistan than any other country. Not only China but the United States also acknowledges Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. For Beijing, tranquility in Afghanistan is essential to bring peace inside Afghanistan and help implement Beijing’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Maulana Samiul Haq, the late religious leader in Pakistan and long regarded as the head of the Taliban inside Pakistan, once said that China would be welcomed as an arbitrator in negotiations and shouldn’t ‘leave matters of such a great importance solely to the US’. China is helping Afghanistan to set up a mountain brigade in the country’s north to boost counter-terrorism efforts but ‘there will be no Chinese military personnel of any kind on Afghan soil at any time’. Embassy of China in Afghanistan said the Afghan government appreciated China’s assistance and that the countries’ militaries were working in close coordination, without giving further details. Sources close to the Chinese military earlier said China had funded and started building a training camp for Afghan troops in Afghanistan’s isolated Wakhan Corridor – a narrow strip of inhospitable and barely accessible land extending about 350km from the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan to China’s Muslim region of Xinjiang. People’s Liberation Army would be assisting the Afghan Army in this concern. The war-torn Afghanistan has become increasingly important for China’s own security, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, a huge trade and infrastructure plan in the near future and the BRI would be incomplete without fully incorporating Afghanistan. The writer is Consultant at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He writes on East Asian affairs Published in Daily Times, January 14th 2019.