It has been nearly a year and a half since President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the negative consequences are still playing out.
One example was seen this week when Afghanistan’s Taliban government signed a massive new energy deal with China.
Agreement set to last 25 years
According to TimCast, the deal involves a 25-year relationship between Afghanistan and the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co (CAPEIC).
CAPEIC is to begin with an investment of $150 million annually, rising to $540 million after the first three years have passed.
Terms of the deal were described in a statement tweeted out on Wednesday by Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
له چینايي کمپنۍ سره په قرارداد کې چې افغانستان ۲۰ سلنې سهم لري، هغه د ټولو حسابونو څخه بهر زموږ جلا سهم دی چې په پروژه کې به شریک بلل کیږي.
همدا ډول ۱۵ سلنه حق الامتیاز هم جلا د افغانستان حصه جوړیږي چې ټول فوق العاده سهم ۳۵ سلنې ته رسیږي.
په باقي برخه کې جلا شریک یو.#اقتصاد
— Zabihullah (..ذبـــــیح الله م ) (@Zabehulah_M33) January 5, 2023
“In the contract with the Chinese company, in which Afghanistan has a 20 percent share, it is our separate share outside of all accounts, which will be called a partner in the project,” Twitter translated Mujahid’s statement as saying.
“Likewise, 15 percent of royalty is also made a separate share of Afghanistan, the total extraordinary share of which reaches 35 percent. A separate share in the rest,” the spokesman added.
“The 20% share that it acquires in the contract with the Chinese company of Afghanistan is separate from all accounts, and Afghanistan also has a 15% preferential share, which makes the total extraordinary share of Afghanistan reach 35%,” Mujahid continued in a subsequent tweet. “In the remaining share, Afghanistan will share up to 75% according to the provisions.”
Department of Defense report: Withdrawal gave China a propaganda win
Wang Yu serves as China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, and Voice of America (VOA) News reported that he also hailed the agreement.
“The Amu Darya [River] oil project is an important project of practical cooperation between China and Afghanistan,” VOA News quoted Wang as saying.
“The progress of this project has created a model for China-Afghanistan cooperation in major projects in energy and other fields,” he stressed.
Fox News noted in November that a Department of Defense (DOD) report found that America’s departure from Afghanistan provided China with a propaganda victory.
The report stated that China “PRC employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode U.S. and partner influence,” including “highlighting the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.”