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Taliban want to join China’s BRI

AT News

KABUL – The Taliban have expressed a formal interest in joining China’s expansive Belt and Road Infrastructure initiative. Acting commerce minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi announced on October 19 that a technical team will be dispatched to China for discussions regarding this potential partnership.

This overture comes at a time when no country has officially recognized the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan since it took control in 2021. Nevertheless, Beijing has been actively seeking to establish ties with the Afghan administration, driven by the prospect of tapping into Afghanistan’s rich reservoir of coveted mineral resources.

China marked a significant milestone by appointing its ambassador to Kabul last month, becoming the first country to do so since the Taliban’s ascension to power. In contrast, other nations have maintained their previous ambassadors or appointed heads of missions in a charge d’affaires capacity, refraining from formally presenting credentials to the Taliban government.

Acting Commerce Minister Azizi emphasized, “Afghanistan is now, more than ever, ready for investment,” signaling a readiness to engage with external partners.

However, this diplomatic maneuver is met with a series of international concerns. Stringent restrictions on women’s access to public life, as well as the prohibition of many female NGO staff from their work, have raised significant roadblocks to the Taliban’s international recognition, particularly among Western countries. Officials and international relations analysts have cited these developments as key obstacles to fostering diplomatic ties.

The unfolding discussions between the Taliban and China regarding the Belt and Road Initiative will undoubtedly be watched closely by the global community as the dynamics in this region continue to evolve.

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