Trillions in rare earth metals. Billions in high-end U.S. Military equipment. The Taliban has become a major player on the world stage almost overnight. The terrorist takeover has many members of the international community on alert.
But not China – they see an opportunity.
“The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.
“We welcome this. China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop… friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan.”
China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, puts an even finer point on it (in case it wasn’t already blatantly clear what they get out of this relationship): “There are huge opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, especially in sectors such as utilities and mining, if…Taliban’s leadership pursues peace…after years of war.”
China employing strong “the enemy of my enemy” logic here.
The Chinese government also has a number of stalled projects in Afghanistan that will resume now that America has left the region: a $400 million dollar oil field project and more than $100 million dollars in infrastructure projects.
America steps out, China steps in – and big.
According to the United States Geological Survey, China already dominates the rare earths market – nearly 35% of the global reserves belong to Beijing. In 2018, China produced 120,000 metric tons (70%) of the total rare earths. The U.S. that same year? 15,000 metric tons.
America is dependent on China for nearly 80% of its rare earths – metals that are used in high technology devices including smartphones, digital cameras, computers, and more. Now, with China cozying up to the Taliban, their stranglehold on these metals will only grow stronger.
Biden begs OPEC for oil and relies on China for rare earth metals, all while crippling our chances at energy independence by chasing failing green energy initiatives at home.
What a disaster.