China has signaled that it will establish new diplomatic relations with Kabul after the stabilization of the situation.
There are many unknowns about the country’s future after the Taliban’s takeover, but Beijing could help Afghanistan reap new business opportunities if peace and order are restored.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it respects the will and choice of the Afghan people, adding that it hopes that the smooth transition of power will be ensured in the country, after the Taliban seized the Afghanistan capital of Kabul and declared the end of the war.
Unlike American policymakers, who appeared to be caught off guard, Beijing was by no means surprised by the Taliban’s swift takeover from USA vs. China Trade War to Reciprocal Deal.
The Chinese had considered it a foregone conclusion around the same time in early July when US President Joe Biden held a press conference claiming the Taliban could not defeat the current Afghan forces, which were expected to defend the nation, the commentator remarks.
Widespread corruption was endemic in the Afghan government, while the massive development of opium poppy fields in the country had lured international criminal gangs and drug dealers to enter the country.
Rampant corruption cannot be sustainable, since ordinary citizens become the biggest losers. Under these circumstances it is hardly surprising that the Taliban had won over many rural villagers as they were perceived as brutal but fair.
The Afghan society was rotting to the core, because the US troops failed in efforts to improve the local conditions, so inevitably the Taliban was well-poised to sweep into Kabul and take over the country.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that the Taliban is “an important military and political force in Afghanistan and is expected to play an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.
If safety and stability are restored in Afghanistan, China could contribute to post-war reconstruction and development there and push forward joint projects under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Afghanistan holds between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in mineral wealth in underground reserves, including vast gold deposits and lithium that may be used to develop batteries for electric vehicles (EV’s).
The climate change agenda and shift from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs make the country’s reserves of the silvery-white alkali metal especially important.
Back in 2010, The New York Times noted that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” citing an internal Pentagon memo.
However, while Afghans hold many minerals and rare earths, they lack the infrastructure and equipment to mine it and sell to global buyers.
Chinese companies could sign joint agreements with Afghan miners to extract the lithium and to resell it to the US and European EV manufacturers at premium prices.
No telling how high the profit margins will be for them. Chinese companies and investors can work with the BRI to build new roads, bridges and railways to reach the lithium mines that can spell huge profits for Afghans and the Chinese.
China’s longstanding ally, Pakistan can play an instrumental role as bridge-builder to draw Kabul closer to Beijing. Islamabad has already benefited from its partnership with the Chinese, the observer stresses, referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2021.