China has offered to build a road network for the Taliban if they can ensure peace in Afghanistan after the US military withdrawal, according to two senior tribal leaders in Pakistan with close ties to the militants.
Diplomats from Beijing offered “sizeable investments in energy and infrastructure projects” in the country during talks that have been taking place over the past three months in Beijing, the tribal leaders from Pakistan’s south-western Balochistan province told the Financial Times.
“Chinese officials have told the Taliban to bring peace [to Afghanistan] and China will invest in roads to begin with,” said one leader.
“In future, China also wants to look at energy projects like generating electricity and then transporting oil and gas from central Asia [through Afghanistan].”
A second tribal leader in Balochistan, who returned from Afghanistan in late August after spending a month there, said China had pledged to build motorways that would link Afghanistan’s main cities.
“The Chinese promise is led by a road network across Afghanistan. Once such a network is built with six-lane highways, the Chinese have said…
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