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Washington: After Beijing inked an oil extradition agreement with Afghanistan, Islamist forces hostile to China are planning to expand their attacks in Afghanistan. According to the Washington, D.C.-based independent media outlet Global Strat View, Islamists are dissatisfied with China’s growing presence in Afghanistan.

Islamist forces are opposed to China’s commercial exploitation of Afghanistan. China’s fears have been heightened by allegations of persecution of minority Uyghur Muslims.

Islamist groups are active in Afghanistan and the Middle East, where China is opposed and its nationals and projects are targeted. Militant attacks on Chinese nationals and projects have also been reported in neighbouring Pakistan, despite China being the country’s largest foreign investor, according to Global Strat View.

Pakistanis have been criticising China’s over-exploitation of the country’s natural resources, as well as its economic and military influence in the country. According to Islamist forces, similar processes are taking place in Afghanistan as China attempts to capitalise on the US’s departure from the nation.

China’s goals for exploiting Afghanistan’s immense natural wealth are apparent. However, its plans to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan have raised concerns. According to Global Strat View, ISIS-K, the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate, has criticised China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) for plunging third-world countries into a “vicious cycle of debt and default” and infringing on their sovereignty.

According to a September 2022 article in the journal Voice of Khorasan, China may be employing credit schemes to weaken third-world countries and boost China’s influence in these countries.

ISIS-K has chastised China for having its hands in the blood of unarmed Uyghurs. The Islamic State group also warned China that the BRI and other projects will suffer significant losses.

According to Global Strat View, the Islamic State, its affiliates, and supporting violent groups have kidnapped and killed Chinese citizens, in addition to bombing Chinese projects.

Following the early hype around Chinese projects in South Asian countries, the much-touted infrastructure partnerships in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal are apparently trapped in limbo due to delays, problems, and higher costs.

China’s much-touted Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) appears to be losing its lustre as numerous difficulties such as delayed progress and terror attacks impede the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) advancement. Beijing is deeply concerned about the CPEC, the BRI’s centrepiece. Work has stalled due to the poor pace of work, numerous terror attacks, and instances of corruption.

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