Global analysts fear this could be one reason for China’s desperation to align itself with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Taliban overthrew the government in Kabul on Sunday (August 15).
On Monday (August 16), Chinese spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press conference, “On the basis of fully respecting the sovereignty of Afghanistan and the will of all factions in the country, China has maintained contact and communication with the Afghan Taliban and played a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Afghan issue”, quoted CNBC.
Referring to China, director of emerging market debt at AllianceBernstein Shamaila Khan told CNBC, “It should be an international initiative to make sure that if any country is agreeing to exploit its minerals on behalf of the Taliban, to only do it under strict humanitarian conditions where human rights, and rights for women are preserved in the situation.”
China mined about 70 per cent of the gola rare earths in 2018 and has 35 per cent global reserves of rare earth metals.
According to a report by CNBC, Minerals and rare earth metals in Afghanistan were estimated to be worth between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in 2020.
On July 28, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted a delegation of the Taliban in China. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar led the nine-member delegation. Baradar is to be the president of the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan.