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China, Taliban discuss banking ties

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KABUL: China’s ambassador and the Taliban’s governor of the Afghan central bank met on Thursday to discuss banking relations and business, according to Reuters.

Economy, banking relations, business and relevant topics were discussed in this meeting, bank’s spokesperson Hassibullah Noori told Reuters, adding the meeting took place on Thursday in Kabul between Ambassador Wang Yu and acting governor Mullah Hidayatullah Badri.

Afghanistan’s banking system has been severely hampered by sanctions, a drop in liquidity from frozen central bank assets and a cut in development spending. Regulatory risk concerns of international banks have also largely cut off the country’s formal banking sector from the global financial system.

China does not have formal diplomatic ties with Afghanistan but has continued to maintain an embassy in Kabul since the Taliban took over the country in 2021. Beijing has recently signaled economic interest in its neighbor, and although some Chinese business executives have raised security concerns, they have said they are looking into investment opportunities, especially in mining.

Badri is a senior Taliban figure who became acting head of the central bank in March after stepping down as acting finance minister. He was head of the economic commission of the Islamic Emirate.

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