News report on the Taliban movement’s efforts to secure vital Chinese investments to rebuild Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure.
Source: Al Jazeera (YouTube)
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s reception of leaders of the Taliban movement at the end of July is the first indicator of the nature of future cooperation between the two sides, even before the movement’s entry into the Afghan capital of Kabul in mid-August.
The Taliban has a cooperative relationship with China, which shares a border with Afghanistan that is only 76 kilometers long. The (Taliban) movement says it hopes to secure much-needed economic benefits and Chinese investment in Afghanistan.
The Taliban spokesman noted that China’s assistance will help the movement to revitalize the country’s economy, and added that China is a vital outlet for Afghanistan into the international market, especially because access to foreign markets is hampered by sanctions and the absence of international recognition. Thus, cooperation with China is a timely opportunity for the Taliban movement.
Access to these markets requires a modern transportation network, which prompted the Chinese Sany Group to express its willingness to invest in Afghanistan. The company contributes to establishing what is known as the Belt and Road Initiative, a project (through which) China plans to expand its international trade influence.
China has long sought to include Afghanistan in the China-Pakistan economic corridor, a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Taliban confirmed that it supports this initiative since it serves the development and prosperity of the region.
Another vital challenge for the Taliban movement is the power crisis, an (area) which would form a major investment opportunity, as only 35% of Afghans have access to electricity, and 70% of Afghanistan’s electricity needs are imported from abroad.
As for the rich natural wealth and reserves that Afghanistan enjoys, they seem to be a priority in the joint plans for cooperation, considering that the Taliban confirmed that copper mines in Afghanistan will be back in operation with the help of China.