Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

In Afghanistan, China extends its reach


Afghanistan sits on one of the largest mineral deposits in the region, the country’s mines minister told Reuters in an interview this month.

And the Chinese are already there, braving the Taliban upsurge and a slowing economy at home to invest in the vast Aynak copper field south of Kabul, reputed to hold one of the largest deposits of the metal in the world.

In what is the biggest foreign investment in Afghanistan, China  last year committed  nearly $2.9 billion to develop the Aynak field including the infrastructure  that must be built with it such as a power station to run the operation and a railroad to haul the tons of copper it hopes to extract.

Despite Afghanistan’s deteriorating security including in Logar province which is where the Aynak reserves are located and which serves as one of the gateways  to Kabul,  China has said it will carry out the project, the Afghan mines minister Mohammad Ibrahim Adel said.