Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff

Talibs want China to invest billions in what appears to be nothingness

China has repeatedly expressed its desire to invest in the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the war. No wonder that the Taliban* regards China as their main foreign partner.

The Talibs* are positive about China's Belt and Road economic project. They also count on Beijing's help in rebuilding the mining industry. What do the Talibs count on if China still becomes Afghanistan's gateway to the markets of the world?

It goes without saying that the Taliban* wants Chinese money, but so far no one has told them that China will recognise the movement. The Chinese authorities still regard the new government in Afghanistan as terrorists. In theory, however, they express their readiness to participate in the development of the war-torn nation. Russia sticks to the same position and also spoke about a possibility of providing assistance to Afghanistan.

Vasily Kashin, a leading researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in an interview with Pravda. Ru that China would not be opposed to the implementation of a number of economic projects with Afghanistan provided the Taliban* does not pose any threats to security.

If the Taliban* ensures order and stable governance of Afghanistan, the Chinese will gladly go there. However, there is one "but" — Afghanistan has not seen security and order for more than 50 years. If the Talibs* bend over backwards and establish law and order in the country, investors will flock to Afghanistan not only from China, but also from the Gulf States, Russia and many other countries of the world.

"The Chinese have already tried to implement dollar diplomacy with regard to Afghanistan. There was a project to develop the Aynak copper deposit in 2009, for which an investment volume of almost three billion dollars was announced. It did not work out as war and total corruption made everything impossible. The Chinese wrapped everything up after extortion and threats came at all levels of bureaucracy. It is wrongful to believe that China is willing to throw money in all directions," the expert said.

In today's Afghanistan, one will have to conduct negotiations with dozens of armed gangs. Nevertheless, in the event Afghanistan becomes a country with a stable regime, the potential for investors will be enormous.

Afghanistan is rich in mineral resources, such as, for example, lithium, many non-ferrous metals, etc. The development of any project in Afghanistan requires large investments. Afghanistan lacks roads and electricity. Any project is therefore worth billions of dollars. Needless to say that such money can be invested only under conditions of political stability.

*terrorist organisation, banned in Russia.

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