Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, almost everyone in the country has become poor. This has been exacerbated by international sanctions and a severe drought that has caused the price of basic goods to skyrocket, increasing food insecurity. In a bid to secure access to the country’s vast mineral wealth, a Chinese company has signed a $540 million deal with the Afghan regime.
Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. Ltd. has plans to develop an oil-and-gas field in the Amu Darya basin in northern Afghanistan over the next three years. This is the largest deal struck since the Taliban’s takeover in 2021. The deal could have a big effect on Afghanistan’s economy and give the country’s infrastructure a much-needed boost.
The deal is part of a growing trend of Chinese investment in Afghanistan, as Beijing looks to take advantage of the country’s vast mineral wealth. China’s investment in the region has been growing steadily since 2021, as it has sought to gain a foothold in the country’s economy. Chinese companies have made deals with the Afghan government to develop mineral deposits, build infrastructure, and even provide security services.
The deal could also benefit China in other ways, as it would grant access to the country’s oil and gas reserves. These reserves could be used to meet China’s growing energy needs and help the country become less dependent on oil from other countries.
Both international and Afghan groups have been very critical of the deal. They say that the country’s resources should be used to help the Afghan people, not foreign companies. It is still too early to tell if the deal will help the country’s economy or if it will just be another way for foreigners to take advantage of Afghanistan’s resources.