Taliban regime in oil deal with Chinese company

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime has agreed to sign a contract with a Chinese company to exploit oil in the Amu Darya basin in the country’s north, the acting mining minister announced Jan. 5. The contract with the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum & Gas Co. (CAPEIC) is to be the first major resource extraction deal the regime has signed with a foreign company since taking power in 2021. “The Amu Darya oil contract is an important project between China and Afghanistan,” China’s ambassador, Wang Yu, told a joint press conference with Taliban officials in Kabul. Beijing has not formally recognized the Taliban government but has significant interests in Afghanistan, a country deemed critical for its Belt & Road Initiative.

The announcement came a day after Taliban officials said theirĀ forces had killed eight ISIS fightersĀ in raids, including some who were behind an attack last month on a hotel catering to Chinese businessmen in Kabul.Ā Five Chinese nationals were wounded in the hotel attack.Ā (TRT)

In September, the Taliban signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan at discountedĀ prices. This first major international economic deal struck by the Taliban since they returned to power could help to ease the food crisis in Afghanistan, which is exacerbated by the regime’sĀ isolation. (Reuters)

China has long sought to build a pipeline across Afghan territory. China and Russia were the first foreign powers to etablish preliminary contacts with the Taliban after their return to power last year.

Map: Perry-CastaƱeda Library

  1. Deadly blast outside Afghan foreign ministry

    At least 20 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the foreign ministry in Kabul.Ā The blast reportedly came as a Chinese delegation was meeting with Taliban officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Ā (Al Jazeera)

  2. ISIS-K leader killed by Taliban: report

    The leader of a regional affiliate of the Islamic State was reportedly killed in Afghanistan last week in an area along the border with Pakistan. Sanaullah Ghafari, AKA Shahab al-Muhajir,Ā so-called emir of Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), hadĀ led the group since June 2020.Ā The US hadĀ put a $10 million price on his head.

    Ghafari was traveling through the mountainous KunarĀ province June 6 when Taliban security forces targeted him in an intelligence-led operation. Six other ISIS-K operatives were killed in subsequent raids in the area, Taliban sources said. (VOA)