Eyeing rich bounty, China in line for Afghan role

KABUL (AP) – China, long a bystander to the conflict in Afghanistan, is stepping up its involvement as U.S.-led forces prepare to withdraw, attracted by the country’s vast mineral resources but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own territory.

Cheered on by the U.S. and other Western governments, which see Asia’s giant as a potentially stabilizing force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan – having shed no blood and not much aid. Continue reading