(PresidentialWire.com)- Reuters reported that Chinese state television said on Wednesday that China’s President Xi Jinping had separate phone conversations with both Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi and Iraqi President Barham Salih.
What was discussed in both phone calls is unclear. However, China’s state television quoted President Xi as saying that China will unswervingly develop friendly relations with Iran and that Iran and China will continue to support each other on core interests and major concerns.
There is no doubt the Biden Administration’s haphazard pull-out from Afghanistan will impact hegemony in the Middle East in far-reaching ways.
With US influence waning in the region, both Iran and China are emboldened to fill the void.
China has already signaled a willingness to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, and its reasons are purely in China’s self-interest.
According to CNBC, Afghanistan is estimated to have trillions of dollars’ worth of rare earth metals including lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury, and the all-important lithium. These metals are used in everything from electronics and electric vehicles to satellites and aircraft.
And China is eager to buy its way into the ground beneath the Taliban’s feet.
As it is China dominates the rare earths market globally. About 35 percent of rare earths global reserves are in China. Additionally, the country’s mining industry is so enormous, it produced 70 percent of the total rare earths mined in 2018 – 120,000 metric tons.
This is why only hours after the Taliban took Kabul and ousted the US-backed civilian government, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for Beijing’s foreign ministry, announced at a press conference on Monday that China was ready for “friendly cooperation with Afghanistan.”
Hua said that the Taliban had told the CCP “on multiple occasions” that it looked “forward to China’s participation in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development.”
No doubt China is willing to funnel billions of dollars to the Taliban in exchange for mining rights in the region.
However detrimental it will be to US interests, it is undeniable that developing good relations with both Iran and Iraq while making overtures to the Taliban in the vacuum left behind by the US makes smart sense for the Communist Chinese Party.
At the end of the day, Joe Biden’s actions in Afghanistan delivered one more win to China.