10th anniversary of BRI
The forum, taking place in Beijing on Tuesday-Wednesday, marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious global infrastructure and energy initiative. It is presented as a reconstruction of the ancient Silk Road to promote global trade. Ministry spokesman Akhundzada Abdul Salam Jawad said the Taliban’s acting minister of commerce and industry, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, would visit Beijing in the coming days. He will participate in it and invite big investors to Afghanistan. According to The News report, the poor country can provide abundant mineral resources.
Pakistan keeps an eye on China’s treasury
A mines minister estimated in 2010 that Afghanistan had reserves ranging from copper to gold and lithium, worth between $1 trillion and $3 trillion. It is unclear how much they are worth today. China is in talks with the Taliban over plans initiated under the previous foreign-backed government for a potentially huge copper mine in eastern Afghanistan. Akhundzada said Azizi would continue discussions in Beijing on a plan to build a road through the Wakhan corridor, a narrow, mountainous strip in northern Afghanistan, to provide direct access to China.
Did this happen at the behest of Pakistan?
Officials from China, the Taliban and neighboring Pakistan said in May that they would like Afghanistan to be included in the Belt and Road Initiative. Both countries want the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an important part of the BRI, to be extended across the border to Afghanistan. Both countries say that if Taliban becomes a part of Jinping’s billion-dollar dream project BRI, then Afghanistan affected by sanctions can get relief as this country is struggling to raise funds for infrastructure.