The Americans are leaving Afghanistan, quickly. The Chinese may replace them, slowly. China has never had much success in Afghanistan. Endless war, political and social instability, corruption and lack of infrastructure made the country largely unappealing to Chinese investors (and all other foreign players), even though they had never shied away from messy countries.
Their position could change for one compelling reason: Afghanistan is thought to hold boundless mineral treasures, especially those needed to underwrite the “green” revolution.
Twenty years ago, when the United States invaded Afghanistan and sent the Taliban packing, mass fleets of electric vehicles (EVs) were still a fantasy; today they are a reality.
EVs’ battery powertrains require big amounts of copper and lithium, and various geological surveys done over the decades, starting with those done by the Soviets, who invaded the country in 1979, suggest Afghanistan has abundant supplies of both minerals.