China may align itself with Taliban and try to exploit Afghanistan’s rare earth metals, analyst warns
17 August 2021
Rare earth metals in Afghanistan were estimated to be worth anywhere between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in 2020.
Only hours after the Taliban overran Afghanistan, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said Beijing was ready for “friendly cooperation with Afghanistan.”
China has dominated the rare earths market globally and threatened to cut off supplies to the U.S. during the trade war in 2019.
Afghanistan is estimated to have trillions of dollars worth of rare earth metals, and countries — such as China — that may be looking to swoop in on the country must follow international terms, one analyst told CNBC.
Shamaila Khan, director of emerging market debt at AllianceBernstein, said the Taliban insurgents have emerged with resources that are a “very dangerous proposition for the world,” with minerals in Afghanistan that “can be exploited.”