China’s ambitions to acquire Afghanistan’s natural resources have come to light after the Taliban took control of the country. China has now made a bold move to offer the Taliban $10 billion to acquire the country’s lithium reserves. With no country yet recognizing the Taliban government, China has taken the opportunity to make this offer.
Gochin, a Chinese company, has offered to invest $10 billion in Afghanistan’s lithium reserves. The company has expressed its readiness to invest in the country’s mining sector, which is rich in valuable metals such as gold, iron, and lithium. The Taliban’s Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Shahabuddin Delawar, has already met with representatives of Gochin in Kabul to discuss the proposal.
The Chinese investment is expected to create direct jobs for 120,000 people, with 1 million indirect jobs also being generated. As part of the investment, Gochin has also promised to repair the Salang Pass in just seven months. In addition, the company plans to dig another tunnel and process the lithium extracted from Afghanistan.
This move comes after China has expanded its economic ties with the Taliban since the group came to power. In January 2023, the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum Gas Company signed a deal to extract oil from the Abu Darya Valley in northern Afghanistan. The deal was worth $540 million.
Afghanistan is estimated to have lithium reserves worth $1 trillion. Chinese companies have long been interested in acquiring these resources. However, the Taliban government has yet to be recognized by any country, including China.