A deal to drill for oil in the northern part of Afghanistan will soon be signed by the Taliban government there.
Since the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan in 2021, this would be the first significant energy extraction arrangement with a foreign company.
The 25-year agreement highlights China’s economic presence in the area.
Officials from the Taliban said on Thursday that security personnel had attacked members of the Islamic State group who had assaulted a guesthouse frequented by Chinese businessmen.
The Taliban reported that eight IS members were killed and numerous more were detained.
At least three individuals were killed and 18 others were hurt in the Kabul Longan Hotel bombing in December, including five Chinese nationals.
According to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, the oil extraction agreement will allow Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Company (CAPEIC) to conduct oil drilling in the Amu Darya basin.
A copper mine in the country’s east may be operated by a state-owned enterprise in China.
Natural resources worth more than $1 trillion are thought to be present in Afghanistan, including copper, rare earth, and natural gas.
However, because of the country’s protracted instability, a large portion of such deposits remain untapped.
Beijing has huge interests in Afghanistan, which is at the center of a region crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative but has not officially recognized the Taliban government there (BRI).
The BRI, which was established by Xi Jinping in 2013, offers money to developing nations so they may develop infrastructure including ports, roads, and bridges.