Last week, Hidayatullah Badri, the Taliban's governor of the Afghan central bank met with Chinese envoy Wang Yu to discuss business and banking ties between the two countries. "In this meeting, economy, banking relations, business and some related topics were discussed," Badri said of the talks.
While Beijing does not have formal diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, China is one of the only countries to have maintained a diplomatic presence in Kabul after the Taliban regained control of the country after Washington's calamitous withdrawal in August 2021.
Not long after the withdrawal, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, announced that China would be the Taliban's primary partner for rebuilding Afghanistan after the war and a 20-year U.S. occupation.
Afghanistan's banking system has struggled under U.S. sanctions and banking restrictions, which have kept it isolated from the global financial system and have led to an ongoing economic crisis.
The country's central bank has not been able to supply adequate liquidity to banks due to the illegal freeze of almost $10 billion in reserves and its inability to print money.
Meanwhile, China has taken an economic interest in Afghanistan recently, particularly in seeking investment opportunities in the country's mining industry. Beijing has also expressed an interest in having Afghanistan join China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Taliban announced in April that a Chinese firm was considering investing $10 billion in lithium extraction in the country, which would also supposedly create jobs for some 120,000 Afghans.
Shahabuddin Delawar, the Taliban's Minister for Mining said that "Afghans are looking forward to exploiting their lithium and other mining deposits for their benefit."
The Taliban also signed a 25-year oil extraction agreement with Chinese firm Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. to have it extract oil from the Amu Darya basin in northern Afghanistan at the beginning of teh year.
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