Friday, January 06, 2023

The Iranian-Afghan-Chinese Alliance
State of the Art in 2023

Update on latest development
included on 7 January 2023.

One year ago, on 28 January 2022, some Chinese comment discussed the feasability of a joint Iranian-Afghan-Chinese oil pipeline project intended to connect Iranian oil fields with China's western province of Xinjiang via northern Afghanistan.

In March 2021, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Tehran and signed a 25-year joint comprehensive political, economic and cultural cooperation agreement with Iran. In January this year [i.e. 2022], the foreign minister of the new Iranian government paid a return visit to China, and the 25-year cooperation agreement was officially implemented. In other words, the Lehi government, which came to power in August 2021, continued the Rouhani government's China policy, and even went a little further. Energy issues are particularly prominent within the framework of cooperation. In the context of the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan and the Taliban being on friendly terms with China, and under the premise of Afghan society being stabilized, the connection of Iran’s Persian Gulf (outlet to the sea) to China’s Xinjiang oil pipelines running through Afghanistan would greatly reduce the possibility of China’s energy source being blocked. The agreement solves the problem of Iran's energy guarantee to China. At the same time, taking into account the long-term nature of Afghanistan's construction, the time is set at 25 years, giving China sufficient time for construction.

Today now, on 6 January 2023, German National Radio 'Deutschlandfunk' quoted an external source on China having signed a contract with the Taliban government in Afghanistan for the exploitation of an oil field.

Hours later, some Chinese source confirmed the fact of negotiations on exploitation rights between China and the Taliban. The location of a certain oil field in question was specially mentioned. It should be lying in the Amudarya region where crude oil and natural gas reserves had already been known to exist, at the time US military engaged in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 'September 11 incidents' of 2001.

However, up to now the security problem is still an issue in Afghanistan, even though Taliban authorities are doing their best to please their friendly Chinese partners. The prove is a recent attack of terrorists on a Kabul hotel that is being regularly frequented by Chinese visitors to Afghanistan.

Around 2:30 pm on 12 December 2022, local time, several terrorists suddenly broke into a hotel in the center of Kabul. According to foreign media, this is a "hotel very popular with Chinese people". Taliban security forces rushed in immediately and killed three armed men on the spot.

Looking at the picture, there are Chinese characters written on the outer wall of the hotel: Kabul Guiyuan Hotel.

Days before, Chinese diplomats had allegedly contacted the deputy minister for security of the Taliban to ensure enforcement of security for the Chinese embassy.

The day after the incident some Chinese source reported:

阿富汗传来一个坏消息 与我们中国人有关
Title: Bad news from Afghanistan are related to our Chinese.


Who did it ?
"Islamic State" fighting the Taliban. Just on the morning of the 13th [December] Beijing time, I saw the latest news that the "Islamic State" had declared responsibility for the attack on the Guiyuan Hotel.
Many people think that the Taliban is extreme, but the real extreme is actually the "Islamic State".

After news about an Afghan-Chinese oil deal recently spread on the internet, latest Chinese publications stressed the humanitarian character of China's cooperation with the Taliban, even mentioning the goal of promoting woman rights in Afghanistan. One report made it clear that about 3.000 Afghan workers could be employed in the frame of the Chinese oil exploitation program. However, China doesn't seem to be fully satisfied with support provided by the Taliban.

Above: What looks like the signing of a contract, should be
the delivery of aid materials to the Taliban authorities.


On the contrary, things between China and Iran are running rather smoothly since 2022.

Above: Iran's Chabahar port soon open to Chinese ships [04-01-2023].

Above: Chinese article on the history of Iranian-Chinese relations [05-01-2023].