Taliban `rolls out the red carpet` to welcome investment from China 0Taliban `rolls out the red carpet` to welcome investment from China 0

(Dan Tri) – China quickly approached the new Afghan government led by the Taliban and promised investments in the country.

Senior Taliban officials met Chinese diplomats in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 6 (Photo: Reuters).

After the US left Afghanistan in chaos, the Taliban government sought investment from China in the next 6 months.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said last week that Afghanistan’s new government wants to join the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

A source closely connected to the Taliban revealed to Nikkei Asia that China has been inviting the Taliban since 2018 about possible projects in Afghanistan.

`There are verbal agreements between Beijing and the Taliban about investments. Once the Taliban government is internationally recognized, China will start building infrastructure projects in Afghanistan – a country currently under war.`

On September 8, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held an online meeting with the participation of foreign ministers of countries neighboring Afghanistan, including China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

`The situation in Afghanistan is still complicated and unpredictable. We hope the political situation will soon stabilize and return to normal. The new situation requires us to eliminate old perspectives and develop new thinking.`

During the meeting, China promised $31 million in emergency aid to Afghanistan, including grain, supplies to cope with the winter, vaccines and medicines.

`What China can do now is maintain necessary contacts with the Taliban in the fields of normal economic activities and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries,` said Global Times, North Korea’s English-language mouthpiece.

Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem said on September 14 that the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan congratulated the new Afghan government led by the Taliban, and said Beijing would continue to strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan.

China’s prudence

Andrew Small, an expert at the German Marshall Fund, believes that the Taliban’s immediate investment offers will create leverage for China.

`Beijing will happily make promises and engage in talks on expanding the BRI and CPEC, but will not proceed with anything on the ground until it is confident about the conditions.`

Experts say the Taliban doesn’t have much choice in investors.

`China is likely willing to help the Taliban government after the US withdraws from an area that is too important for China to stand by and watch,` said Hasaan Khawar, a public policy analyst in Islamabad.

China understands Afghanistan’s huge mineral resources, including the Mes Aynak copper mine, which is said to be the second largest in the world in terms of reserves.

The Afghan government has signed a 30-year agreement to develop copper mines with Chinese mining companies.

According to Sputnik, China is looking to restart the copper mining project at Mes Aynak, Afghanistan’s most famous copper mine located about 40 km southeast of Kabul.

Chinese companies this week announced they are planning to resume copper mining operations in Afghanistan, while continuing to monitor the security situation in the country.

`Copper is essential for electrical wiring, electronic products, motors and many other products manufactured in China. But the Chinese will not rush to put themselves in danger. They will consider carefully.`

Military issues and the use of Afghan territory by forces as a launching pad for global terrorism are the biggest concerns of the international community, including China.

China’s Foreign Minister in July asked the Taliban to cut ties with other extremist organizations, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – a force that Beijing blames for violent attacks.

Avatar of Grayson

By Grayson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *