Thomas Ruttig - CHINESE INVESTMENTS IN AFGHANISTAN: - Strategic economic move or
13 September 2023
The presence of China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Wang Yu, and the IEA’s first deputy minister for economic affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the ceremony, combined with the live TV broadcast of the occasion on state-owned Radio Television Afghanistan, reflected the political significance both sides attributed to the deal. [...] (For example, the Emirate seems to be using the former Republic’s tax laws and regulations; see our report Taxing the Afghan Nation.) According to the 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan (article 9), Afghanistan’s mineral resources belong to the Afghan state, and the “[p]rotection, management and proper utilization of public properties as well as natural resources shall be regulated by law.” The amen. [...] While this has an obvious appeal to Afghans, it would be an extremely costly endeavour, given the mountainous terrain of the Wakhan corridor, which is unpassable for much of the year, as well as the militarised nature of Xinjiang Province on the Chinese side of the border. [...] In Mes-e Ainak, the ecological hazards related to such a project and the land conflicts in the area, described in earlier AAN research (see here, here and here), remain the same as under the previous government. [...] In the meantime, they will generate little immediate income for the ailing Afghan economy and the Emirate’s programme of self-sufficiency or be able to overcome the deep humanitarian and economic crisis in the country.