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Prior to 2001, Beijing faithfully observed the principles of neutrality and non-interference regarding Afghanistan, yet it has become one of the key actors in appeasing the conflict, especially since 2014. Numerous scholars suggest that China’s U-turn is related to the potential threat posed by the Uygur separatists in Afghanistan. This study suggests an alternate motive; namely, that Afghanistan’s strategic location—the heart of Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and East Asia—drives China’s increased interest.

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In: Central Asian Affairs