The Taliban will reportedly receive funds from China through the country’s New Silk Road initiative, which will allow regime-led Afghanistan to bypass the Biden administration’s purported “enormous leverage” over the terrorists.
“China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us because it is ready to invest and rebuild our country,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a foreign media outlet on Thursday.
China is anticipated to become one of the first countries to acknowledge the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan and is likely to maintain their Kabul embassy.
Mujahid said that the Taliban highly regarded the Chinese infrastructure initiative to command global influence through developing new trade routes.
He claims Afghanistan has “rich copper mines in the country, which, thanks to the Chinese, can be put back into operation and modernized. In addition, China is our pass to markets all over the world.”
Afghanistan is believed to have unexploited gold and iron stores, along with globally coveted Lithium deposits, which are estimated to be valued in the trillions.
The Biden administration has previously touted an “enormous” amount of economic leverage over the Taliban, that they have claimed would force the regime to uphold human rights standards in order to enter the global marketplace.
“In order to gain access to the global marketplace, we’re going to be watching closely, as will the global community,” Psaki said in Tuesday’s press briefing, noting that the United States has “enormous leverage” over the country.
But the Biden administration may never have had the leverage they touted to the press. China pledged to “support peace [and] reconstruction in Afghanistan,” by helping with their “economic and social development,” as early as August 18.
Experts expressed their disbelief of the White House’s claim prior to Mujahid’s alliance announcement. Economist Peter Earle of the American Institute for Economic Research predicted countries that care about Afghanistan’s natural resources, rather than the Taliban’s human rights abuses, would invest in developing the country’s economy.
“What will happen is China, Russia, other countries will be invited in, and they’ll probably get better deals than they would have if the Taliban was in a better position,” Earle explained.