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International relations

Taliban build ties to U.S. rivals with new China oil deal

Isolated government taps resource riches to connect with outside world

Acting Afghan Mines and Petroleum Minister Shahabuddin Delawar, left, exchanges documents with a CAPEIC representative at the oil extraction deal's signing ceremony in Kabul on Jan. 5.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan is pursuing new economic ties with countries like China and Russia in an effort to end its isolation from the rest of the world, starting by inking a 25-year oil extraction contract with a Chinese company.

Announced in early January, this marks Afghanistan's first major international resource development deal since the Taliban took control in August 2021. Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas (CAPEIC) is expected to invest $150 million in the country in the first year of the contract and $540 million over three years.

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