China eyes investment opportunity in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, to set up industry platform: Report
- A Chinese business representatives group in Afghanistan, named 'China Town in Kabul', is reportedly working to establish a so-called Afghan Institute.
After the formation of an interim Taliban government in Afghanistan, China is set to establish an industry platform in the war-torn country to look into possibilities for investment in the reconstruction effort, according to state-run Global Times. The report suggests that a Chinese business representatives group in Afghanistan named “China Town in Kabul” is working to establish a so-called Afghan Institute.
China has been warming up to the Taliban even as they are wary of Uyghurs separatists getting support from the Islamic fundamentalists. In an interview aired Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin termed the formation of the provisional Taliban government a “necessary step” for the restoration of “domestic order” and in pursuing the post-war reconstruction.
A member of the Chinese business group in Kabul said that they have already made agreements with domestic enterprises and other organisations to jointly build the “platform,” reported Global Times. A rough framework for the industry platform has reportedly been formed and may be launched next week. The business representatives group in Kabul will provide services like personnel safety, government liaisoning, and bank exchange, tax and logistical services to the Afghan Insitute, according to Global Times.
"Various Chinese enterprises in the sectors of infrastructure construction and mining have contacted us for discussion since the release of the platform plan," the state media quoted the member as saying.
The interim Taliban government includes several UN- and US-designated terrorists which could work as an impediment to global humanitarian aid. While western countries have been walking a diplomatic tightrope on the Afghanistan situation, China is one of the few countries readily taking the initiative to build ties with the Taliban.
China announced 200 million yuan (US$31 million) worth of aid to Afghanistan after the Taliban’s government formation announcement. The insurgents have also been appreciative of China’s aid and projects in the region, which is reflected in the Taliban spokesperson’s statement calling Beijing their most important partner.
“China has decided to urgently provide 200 million yuan ($30.96 million) worth of grains, winter supplies, vaccines, and medicines to Afghanistan according to the needs of the Afghan people,” State councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi said at a meeting, according to the official news agency, Xinhua.