For­eign Lan­guage

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

Your ar­ti­cle “Be­yond the Lingo Bar­rier” was an in­ter­est­ing read with the writer dis­cussing how the Afghanistan-China re­la­tion­ship will ben­e­fit Afghan chil­dren by teach­ing the Man­darin lan­guage at Kabul Univer­sity. China is an eco­nomic gi­ant in the mak­ing and has been striv­ing to main­tain healthy re­la­tions with South Asian coun­tries.

Cul­tures and tra­di­tions do play a sig­nif­i­cant role in bring­ing two coun­tries closer and cul­tural diplo­macy will move the Sino-Afghan ties in a new di­rec­tion. How­ever, China’s in­ter­est to teach Man­darin in Afghanistan is a strate­gic de­ci­sion and goes be­yond the idea of main­tain­ing cul­tural diplo­macy. In re­al­ity, China is eye­ing the nearly $1 tril­lion of un­ex­ploited min­eral re­serves in Afghanistan and China’s sin­gle track pol­icy of non-in­ter­fer­ence has kept it in Afghanistan’s good books.

An­a­lysts are of the view that China’s at­tempt to forge re­la­tions with Afghanistan may af­fect Pak-China ties. How­ever, it is un­likely to hap­pen as Pak­istan and China have a broth­erly bond that tran­scends all bound­aries. China is also mak­ing heavy in­vest­ments in Afghanistan as it wants to play an in­flu­en­tial role in the war-torn coun­try once the U.S. troops make their withdrawal in 2014. The writer aptly men­tioned in the ar­ti­cle that it would be wish­ful think­ing for Afghan stu­dents to learn and un­der­stand the Chi­nese lan­guage and the pro­ject might not get un­der­way. How­ever, as the world is turn­ing into a global vil­lage, the pro­ject just might be­come a suc­cess.

Ali Ahmed Kabul, Afghanistan

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