Afghanistan is estimated to have trillions of {dollars} price of rare earth metals, and nations — comparable to China — that may be wanting to swoop in on the nation should comply with worldwide phrases, one analyst instructed CNBC.

Shamaila Khan, director of rising market debt at AllianceBernstein, stated the Taliban insurgents have emerged with assets which are a “very dangerous proposition for the world,” with minerals in Afghanistan that “can be exploited.”

Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Islamist militant group over the weekend, because it seized the capital of Kabul in addition to the Presidential Palace. After President Joe Biden’s April choice to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban made stunning battlefield advances — and practically the entire nation is now underneath the insurgents’ management.

The worldwide neighborhood ought to put stress on China, as an example, if it seeks to ally itself with the Taliban, Khan added.

Afghanistan’s rare earth minerals

So there must be stress on China if they’re going to do alliances with the Taliban so as to generate financial support for them — that they do it on worldwide phrases.

Shamaila Khan

director of rising market debt, AllianceBernstein

“It should be an international initiative to make sure that if any country is agreeing to exploit its minerals on behalf of the Taliban, to only do it under strict humanitarian conditions where human rights, and rights for women are preserved in the situation,” Khan instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

The Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islam has meant that girls’s rights have been curtailed, earlier than the U.S. toppled its regime in 2001.

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China poised for larger function in Afghanistan?

According to Hua, the Taliban stated “on multiple occasions” that it “looks forward to China’s participation in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development.”

“We are ready to continue to develop good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation with Afghanistan and play a constructive role in Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction,” Hua stated.

In late July, earlier than the Taliban’s newest blitz throughout Afghanistan, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with a delegation led by the pinnacle of the Afghan Taliban political committee Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin.

Chinese state media in latest days appeared to echo comparable sentiments to the overseas ministry. The Global Times revealed an article on Aug. 15, citing Chinese specialists, saying hypothesis that China would possibly ship troops to fill the vacuum left by the U.S. was “totally groundless.”

However, the state-run tabloid pointed out that the country can “contribute to post-war reconstruction and development, pushing forward projects under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.” The BRI is a mammoth infrastructure funding plan to construct rail, highway, sea and different routes stretching from China to Central Asia, Africa and Europe.

China’s dominance in world’s rare earths

China dominates the rare earths market globally. About 35% of rare earth international reserves are in China, probably the most on the planet, in accordance to the United States Geological Survey.

The nation can be a mining machine, producing 120,000 metric tons or 70% of whole rare earths in 2018, in contrast to the U.S. which mined 15,000 metric tones of rare earths the identical 12 months, it stated.

U.S. reserves additionally pale as compared to China. The U.S. has a complete of 1.4 million metric tons of reserves, versus 44 million metric tons of reserves in China.

China used rare earths as a threat during its trade war with the U.S. in 2019, when Beijing threatened to lower off provides to the U.S. Rare earth minerals are generally utilized in high-tech units, vehicles, clear power and protection.

The U.S. was closely depending on China for rare earths in 2019, when the Asian nation was exporting 80% of U.S. wants, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak and Yun Li contributed to this report.


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