LRIP

China Invest and Reconstruct Afghanistan

September 03, 2021

According to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, China will be the Taliban’s “major partner” in rebuilding Afghanistan. “China will be our dominant supporter and a huge opportunity for us because it is ready to invest in our country and endorse rebuilding efforts,” Mujahid said in an interview released Wednesday by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

He stated that the Taliban appreciate China’s Belt and Road Initiative because it will revitalize the ancient Silk Road. He also stated that China will assist Afghanistan in fully utilizing its abundant copper resources and in gaining access to global markets. He added that the Taliban see Russia as an important ally in the region and will maintain a good relationship with Moscow.

Mujahid stated that the Kabul airport is fully under Taliban control but has been severely damaged. He told the Italian publication that Qatar and Turkey are trying to lead efforts to reopen the airport. He stated, “The airport should be clean within three days and will be rebuilt quickly.” “I am hopeful that it will be able to operate again in September”.

Concerning relations with Italy, Mujahid stated that the Taliban expect Italy to acknowledge their government and restart its embassy in Kabul. On August 15, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, compelled President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials to flee. The group has been attempting to form a government, with an official statement predicted on Friday.

During a session with a Taliban authority in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin in July this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raised hopes that Afghanistan would embrace a moderate Islamic policy. China has long feared that Taliban-controlled territory would be used to possess separatist forces in its western Xinjiang region, citing religious extremism as a disruptive force.

Beijing has continued to secure unofficial ties with the Taliban all across the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which fueled a rebel progress across the country, culminating in the seize of Kabul. China and Afghanistan share a 76-kilometer (47-mile) border. In Tianjin, high-level Taliban representatives met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, encouraging that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militants. In return, China provided economic assistance and funding in Afghanistan’s rebuilding.

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