The Statesman: Afghanistan’s mines become another field of global competition

by Aamaj News

Referring to the introduction of the new Chinese ambassador in Afghanistan, the Indian ” The Statesman” newspaper stated that this country has become an attractive prospect for “China’s resource-hungry economy” with its large reserves of rare earth minerals, iron, copper, and other valuable commodities.

This newspaper added in an article that China’s interest in Afghanistan’s natural resources is no secret, and while Afghanistan was not initially a core component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it has become an essential focus, particularly for mining purposes.

However, The Statesman wrote that in the shadow of the Afghan conflict’s ever-shifting sands, China has made a calculated move that reverberates not just within the region but across the international stage. Its recent appointment of an Ambassador to Afghanistan signifies more than just a diplomatic milestone. It’s a tangible manifestation of China’s nuanced approach to safeguarding its strategic interests in a complex geopolitical landscape.

According to this article, beyond its “economic ambitions”, China’s engagement with Afghanistan is also rooted in security concerns. Uyghur militant groups that seek refuge in Afghanistan pose a direct threat to China’s stability, particularly in its Xin- jiang region.

“China’s previous cooperation with Afghanistan on security matters has faced challenges with the Taliban’s reluctance to engage to the same extent. Beijing appears to believe that by engaging with the Taliban, it can secure its interests on two fronts ~ access to Afghanistan’s resources and a degree of control over potential Uyghur security threats”, the Indian newspaper added.

According to the author of this article: “The backdrop against which China’s Afghan policy unfolds is its escalating rivalry with the USA. Afghanistan’s rare earth resources have become another arena in this global competition. China’s commitment to safeguard its strategic interests remains steadfast, even as it engages with the Taliban.”

The Statesman newspaper has warned that since China and the US are both superpowers seeking regional influence, this competition will add a layer of complexity to China’s actions in Afghanistan.

The newspaper pointed out that two years have passed since the Taliban regime and this has shown that engagement alone may not change the behavior of the Taliban. As the world watches “China’s diplomatic manoeuvres” in Afghanistan, a pertinent question emerges. Is engagement with the Taliban the right approach?


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