Friday 9/17/21

Taliban will rely on Chinese money for reconstruction, a spokesman said

"China is ready to invest and rebuild our country," he added
HANDOUT - 26 August 2021, Italy, Sigonella: Servicemen assist Afghan evacuees as they disembark a plane at the Sigonella Naval Air Station Airport in the midst of the Taliban takeover. Photo: Mc2 Claire Dubois/U.S. Navy/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
Afghan evacuees disembark a plane at the Sigonella base in Italy, in the midst of the Taliban takeover. Photo: Mc2 Claire Dubois/US Navy/dpa.

After the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban will rely primarily on money from China, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday.

"China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us, because it is ready to invest and rebuild our country," Mujahid said.

He added the New Silk Road - an infrastructure initiative with which China wants to increase its global influence by opening up trade routes - was held in high regard by the Taliban.

As a result of the Taliban seizing power and the chaotic departure of foreign troops from Kabul airport in recent weeks, western states have severely restricted their aid payments to the country.

With the help of China, the Taliban will fight for an economic comeback, the spokesman said.

Access to world markets

There are "rich copper mines in the country, which, thanks to the Chinese, can be put back into operation and modernized. In addition, China is our pass to markets all over the world."

Mujahid also confirmed that women would be allowed to continue studying at universities in future. He said women would be able to work as nurses, in the police or as assistants in ministries, but ruled out that there would be female ministers.

"We want to restore good relations with Italy and hope that your country will recognize our Islamic government," he said. "I hope that this interview strengthens diplomatic and political ties and that Italy reopens its embassy in Kabul."