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Taliban Central Bank Governor Talks Business with Chinese Ambassador

Taliban Central Bank Governor Talks Business with Chinese Ambassador

The Taliban’s “acting” central bank governor, Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, met with Chinese Ambassador Wang Yu on Thursday in Kabul to discuss “the economy, banking relations, business, and some related topics.” Badri became the finance minister of Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul in August 2021, but he switched jobs and became governor of DA Afghanistan Bank (DAB) in March 2023 for unclear reasons. One theory held that he was forced out of the finance ministry in a squabble over money appropriated by senior Taliban leaders. #Afghanistan Bank says that, head of this bank, Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, met with #Chinese Ambassador Wang Yu in Kabul. In this visit, economy of Afghanistan and China, banking relations, transactions, trade and a number of related topics were discussed.1/2 — RTA English (@rtaenglish1) June 15, 2023 According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang met with Badri and the ministers of other “relevant departments” to discuss “strengthening China-Afghanistan cooperation in areas such as the economy and trade.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry complained that international sanctions against the brutal Taliban regime are hindering Afghanistan’s development. “China has always supported the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, provides sincere help to Afghanistan, and welcomes Afghanistan to join the Belt and Road Initiative,” the ministry said, referring to China’s massive international infrastructure and debt colonialism project. Afghanistan’s independent Tolo News said Afghan traders are eager to sell in China, including key exports such as pine nuts, but they need easier access to visas in order to travel across the Chinese border. Afghan firms are eagerly courting Chinese investment because few other countries are willing to do business with the Taliban. The barbaric Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 after President Joe Biden’s disastrously bungled withdrawal of U.S. forces.

The Taliban named their government the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” and pretended the all-male collection of extremists, mullahs, gangsters, and terrorists filling government posts were only “interim” or “caretaker” appointments.

The Taliban came to power with promises to be more modern in their outlook, and less oppressive of human rights, than the regime that was overthrown by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The new government conspicuously failed to live up to these promises, outraging the international community by denying jobs and education to women, violently suppressing peaceful protests, persecuting minorities, and abusing journalists. U.S. media organizations avoid talking about Afghanistan because of the embarrassment it poses to the Biden administration, but human rights groups say it has become one of the worst humanitarian disaster areas in the world under Taliban misrule. Poverty, illness, and malnutrition are sweeping the country. Relief agencies are unwilling to abandon the Afghan people, but find it impossible to work with the Taliban, especially after they banned women from working.

The United Nations once offered rosy talk about working with Taliban 2.0 to modernize Afghanistan, but now it cannot even make the thuggish regime in Kabul stop flogging women and children in the streets.

The U.N. has been reduced to alternately pleading with the Taliban to take “baby steps” toward official recognition, and threatening to pull out of Afghanistan entirely. This dismal state of affairs makes it very difficult for even China – which cares little for the Western ideal of human rights, and is very eager to plunder Afghanistan’s natural resources – to extend formal recognition to the Taliban regime. Beijing is still looking for ways to engage with Kabul, however, and it is much more willing to work with Taliban officials than other major powers. Voice of America News (VOA) last month described Wang Yu as the “busiest” ambassador left in Kabul. Wang met with three Taliban ministers in a single week in May – including “Sirajuddin Haqqani, the interior minister who has a $10 million terrorism bounty over his head from the United States, and Nida Mohammad Nadem, the higher education minister who has closed universities for Afghan girls.” Meanwhile, the Taliban has an ambassador in Beijing who “maintains a busy schedule meeting nationwide with Chinese government and corporate officials.” “China is among a small number of countries that host a Taliban charge d’affaires. Short of a formal recognition, Beijing has practically treated the Taliban regime as not only Afghanistan’s legitimate government but also a trade, investment and security partner,” VOA observed. Those Chinese investments in Afghanistan include an oil extraction deal, and possibly soon a lithium mining agreement, which would tighten Beijing’s grip on the worldwide electric vehicle industry.

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