China’s role in Afghan copper project

In ‘Just World News’, journalist Helena Cobban writes about China’s role in the Aynak copper mine project. The plans include a rail link to China.

China buys in to Iraqi, Afghan end-games

Posted by Helena Cobban at August 30, 2008 01:35 PM

If the Chinese really are also going to build a rail line that comes from western China, through Tajikstan, down through Afghanistan (including Aynak,) and through Pakistan to Karachi, then that is extremely significant.

I think the China-Tajikstan connector is already underway…

But the whole project, when completed, will have huge benefits:

  • for China, in its continuing drive to bring economic development to its far-west regions,
  • for Tajikstan and the other landlocked former-Soviet Stans, who have pretty good Soviet-era railway systems– but so far, most of them connect to the outside world only through Russia. This new connector would give them new outlets, to both China and the Arabian Sea.
  • for Pakistan, which gets access to a whole new hinterland and trading bloc there in Stanistan, and finally–
  • for Afghanistan, which gets its first ever long distance rail line– and one that connects, moreover, to such a lot of other interesting and potentially lucrative places. It also thereby gets a way to start exporting not just the massive amounts of copper said to exist in Aynak but all the rest of its currently barely scratched-at wealth of mineral resources.

Win-win-win all round, I’d say. And not just because I’m a committed ferrophile.

Read the full article at ‘Just World News’

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