Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in China to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Summit. It is the first time an Afghan leader attends this annual event, designed to be a counterweight to Western influence in the region.
China and the other Central Asian leaders have expressed concerns over the security vaccuum that will be created by the departure of Western forces in 2014.
Having watched NATO sustain a war that has cost billions of dollars and lasted more than a decade, China and Russia are aware of the dangers of becoming too involved on Afghan soil.
But since China is eager to maintain good ties with Afghanistan, whose territory contains an estimated 1 trillion dollars in minerals, the country will likely be made a regular guest to this annual summit.
Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Hong Kong