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China moves swiftly to exploit the void in Afghanistan

US military exit is likely to become Beijing's strategic gain

| China
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi claps after signing a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in fighting terrorism, with Afghanistan's then Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and in Kabul in December, 2018.   © Reuters

Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author of nine books, including "Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India and Japan."

China has long shielded Pakistan from international pressure over its harboring of terrorist groups, including blocking United Nations Security Council sanctions against Pakistani terrorists and opposing moving its close ally from the gray to black list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, the global terrorist-financing watchdog. In fact, China has often praised Pakistan's commitment to the fight against terrorism.

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