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The Taliban Tallys Up Business With China

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This week on The New Arab Voice, we’re looking at the Afghan economy under the Taliban. 

We examine the economic trade between the hardline group and the Chinese, who this month signed a major oil extraction deal to start tapping into Afghanistan’s vast natural reserves. 

The Taliban have welcomed this foreign investment, claiming new injections of cash will help revitalise the faltering, crisis-riddled economy. 

Beijing, it would seem, is strengthening its control over the regional trade of rare earth minerals and emboldening its leverage over the Taliban, furthering its own security ambitions. 

However, given the history of unsuccessful mining projects, chronic instability and billions in frozen Afghan funds, will the acclaimed rewards of this deal ever be reaped? 

The New Arab Voice sat down with Jeffrey Grieco, president and CEO of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce (@AAchamberofcomm) to discuss the current state of the Afghan economy and China’s growing role. 

We also speak with researcher Jiayi Zhou (@jzyhou) from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (@SIPRorg) about China’s historic relations with Afghanistan and the rationale behind its continued involvement. 

And Shah Mehrabi, an economics professor (@montgomerycoll) and co-chair of the Afghan Trust Fund about the role of the West in Afghanistan and the critical issue of releasing the country’s frozen foreign reserves. 

This podcast is written and produced by Rosie McCabe. 

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions. 

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email [email protected] 


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