Experts believe China's alleged plans to dive into Afghanistan are exaggerated and impractical, a new report has emphasized.
Chinese state authorities have criticized Washington and its 20-year war, and warily applauded the Taliban's declaration of a new government of hardliners and FBI-wanted terrorists this week, which many perceive as a symbolic slap at the West.
Many regional analysts, however, are skeptical of China's desire to invade war-torn Central Asia on its western border.
China is interested in economic engagement in Afghanistan and the expansion of its Belt and Road, including rehabilitation and investing in the landlocked country's undeveloped mineral riches, Ekta Raghuwanshi, Stratfor's South Asia analyst for RANE, told CNBC.
"...However, it wouldn't invest substantially anytime soon given security concerns in Afghanistan and proximity to China's restive Xinjiang province," Raghuwanshi said, relating to Uyghur militants and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement's resurgence
China is one of the few nations, if not the only economic powerhouse, to have formed good relations with the Taliban, who stunned the world by overrunning Afghanistan in a couple of days in early August.
Afghanistan has untapped mineral riches worth trillions of dollars and is in desperate need of infrastructural investment, making it a natural fit for China's Belt and Road Initiative.
While China has expressed its support for the Taliban, however, this does not imply that it is ready to do business with them, CNBC pointed out.
According to Maximilian Hess, a Central Asia fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Eurasia Program, there is no evidence that China will regard the Taliban as a more safe ally.
It is well aware of the security concerns, and Islamist organizations have intensified their attacks against Chinese infrastructure in Pakistan in recent years, including one in August, according to Hess.
In 2008, a group of Chinese firms signed a 30-year lease on Mes Aynak, Afghanistan's largest copper mine. The mining project has not yet begun, despite the fact that it has been 13 years.
Given the failure of China's prior Afghan projects, Chinese engagement in Afghanistan might resemble its ostensible reconstruction plans in Syria, which analysts characterize as "a lot of speculation, but little substance."