Although Afghan government’s efforts to forge regional consensus have so far failed, under no circumstances it should be used as a ploy to justify the continuation of war. The political settlement of a complex conflict like that in Afghanistan can inevitably face with challenges that can only be overcome through the honest endeavors of all sides involved in Afghan conflict. As part of the initiative to build regional consensus, Afghan, Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministers are set to hold the first trilateral meeting. Chinese foreign minister has recently said security and coordination would be discussed in the meeting.
Contrary to other superpowers, Chinese interests can only be protected when there is stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Therefore, Beijing has initiated political efforts in recent years to help resolve the Afghan conflict. China realizes that instability in Afghanistan cannot remain within the borders of the country forever, and the protraction and expansion of the Afghan conflict threatens Chinese interests in the region. If the situation persists as is, the $46 billion worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega project can fail.
Given its close relations and convergence of economic interests, China has significant leverage over Pakistan, which can be utilized for regional stability. If China succeeds to stop Pakistan from backing terrorists through political negotiations or pressure, it can freely utilize economic opportunities available in the region. As long as Pakistan supports terrorists, and there is a room for the west to interfere in regional affairs because of the continuation of terrorist activities in the region, China won’t be able to accomplish its economic goals in the region like some of its economic projects in Afghanistan.