Recently, following the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, China has emerged as one of the first nations to develop diplomatic channels with the Taliban. This engagement emanates from China’s economic and security interest in Afghanistan.

Important points:

  • Afghanistan is probably home to what may be the world’s largest reserves of lithium.
  • Lithium is the key ingredient of the large-capacity lithium-ion batteries that are widely used in electric vehicles and the renewable energy industry.
  • China dominates Lithium-Ion Battery Production worldwide and it may seek long-term a contract with the Taliban to develop Afghanistan’s massive untapped lithium reserves in return for mining rights and ownership arrangements.
  • Afghanistan is sitting on mineral deposits estimated to be worth up to $3 trillion.
  • Afghanistan is rich in several resources such as gold, oil, bauxite, rare earths, chromium, copper, natural gas, uranium, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, gemstones, talc, sulphur, travertine, gypsum and marble.
  • China’s strategic Belt-and-Road Initiative  BRI) could get more reach if it is able to extend the initiative from Pakistan to Afghanistan, with a Peshawar-to-Kabul motorway.
  • This would create a much shorter land route for faster and convenient access to markets in the Middle East for Chinese goods.

Way Forward

  • India Engaging with the Taliban: Talking to Taliban would allow India to seek security guarantees from the insurgents in return for continued development assistance.
  • India can also persuade the Taliban to explore the possibility of its autonomy from Pakistan.
  • There is a need for the global community to fight against the global concern of terrorism.


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