While the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has its obvious implications, one particularly seems to be overlooked: a leg up for China in the rare metals industry.
Indeed, China already dominates the rare metals market, a key player in electronics, electric car batteries and computers. Now, with the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul, one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of lithium will fall right into China’s lap, Just the News reports.
U.S. Geological Survey data estimates that Afghanistan may hold unexplored mineral reserves worth as much as $1 trillion, while the government of Afghanistan estimates the value to be as high as $3 trillion.
Western governments working with the Afghan government helped grow smaller scale mining, but it is expected that China will now work with the Taliban for a more systemic exploitation like it did with Africa’s minerals.
“China dominates right now 80% of the rare earth mines all over the world,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told Just the News on Friday. “And they dominate the battery market by 75%. And now China is moving in rapidly. And they’ve already been negotiating this deal with the Taliban for a long time. They want the mining rights to over 1 trillion of rare earth minerals in Afghanistan.”