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JALREZ VALLEY, Afghanistan — In this Taliban stronghold in the mountains south of Kabul, the U.S. Army is providing the security that will enable China to exploit one of the world's largest unexploited deposits of copper, earn tens of billions of dollars and feed its voracious appetite for raw materials.
Beijing faces enormous challenges in completing the project and gaining access to the estimated 240 million tons of copper ore that are accessible through surface mining. Taliban-led insurgents operate in large parts of Logar and Wardak; the area is sown with mines; and China must complete an ambitious set of infrastructure projects, including Afghanistan's first national railway, as part of the deal.
China's willingness to gamble so much in one of the world's poorest and riskiest nations testifies to its determination to acquire the commodities it needs to maintain its economic growth and social stability.
In Mt. Toromocho in the Peruvian Andes, for example, the only copper deposit said to be larger than Aynak, China is relocating a town and its inhabitants to get at a mountain of copper ore.
"Why the Chinese? Because they have money, they have lots of money," Ashraf said. "One day, when there is no more copper elsewhere in the world, the Chinese will have copper."
Although China is contributing a much smaller share of the more than $25 billion in international assistance that's been pledged to Afghanistan since 2001 than the U.S. is, the Obama administration isn't complaining. China's investment in Aynak dovetails with the administration's emerging strategy for ending the war in part by delivering on unfulfilled vows to better the lives of the poor Afghans who constitute the vast majority of the Taliban's foot soldiers."
The problem of security, the problem of the Taliban, we cannot solve these problems with the military," Ashraf said.
Site preparation work has begun. But it'll be some years before state-owned China Metallurgical Construction Corp. can begin the projected 15 to 20 years of production at the site 30 miles south of Kabul.
The site was discovered by an Afghan-Soviet team in 1974. However, in the face of armed resistance during their 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan, the Soviets were never able to develop the site or harvest the ore.
The main challenge to MCC is the Taliban, who moved into Kabul's southern fringes after China clinched the deal, prompting the January deployment in Logar and Wardak of more than 2,000 troops from the Army's 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, N.Y. On Tuesday, a roadside bomb injured three policemen protecting a crew building an access road to Aynak.
China may hope that the Aynak deal will help it position it to compete for more projects in Afghanistan, where three tectonic plates converge. The region is thought to hold some of the world's last major untapped deposits of iron, copper, gold, uranium, precious gems and other raw materials.
"It's the last frontier," said the second Western official.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that Afghanistan also has more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil — almost untapped since soldiers of Alexander the Great discovered pools of oil in the north more than 2,000 years ago — and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
"When we have a little security here, this will be a paradise to come and mine," he said. "We are near the markets. Those markets are China and India. The transportation is not difficult. The difficulty is that everyone says, 'We must have security and then we will invest.'"
Originally posted by confreak
reply to post by MACchine
Dude, China is giving you loans, so what did you think? Did you think US would pay it back using American money? No, US is taking loans to kill Afghans, then giving contracts to Chinese companies, just like in Iraq. People forget so fast.
Those loans are needed to keep US dollar up, but US economy is at Mercy of foreign investors, if they sell it off, a quick crash could come, so they are pleasing the Chinese right now, because Saudi Arabia is just a puppet state, they will do anything for US. UK is also kind a what we call a lick "###", so US doesn't need to worry about them either.
If China mixed it up, and changed to gold, away from dollar like other countries were doing, like Libya and Syria, then dollar would have lost its value, US would have to pay loans with weaker currency and investors would demand higher tax rates to give loans for US.
This is what US is trying to avoid, this is the reason behind the unrest in Syria and the war in Libya. People think these are coincidence, something to do with the Arab spring, it is much bigger than that. US economy is dying, China won't allow it either, they hold a lot of depth share.
China has tasted capitalism and it will unleash not the panda, but the ugly head of the dragon.
Originally posted by eagleeye2
Very interesting information.
A piece of the puzzle.
Does it proove corporations is running the show?
U.S is a bully to hire for China or the Queen or Bandar Bush.
Because, when you think about it.
U.S is the most militarized country and the most active in that matter. Always playing the bad guy and getting their hands dirty.
Anyways, i'm pretty much convinced it's the first option but my head is boiling right now, too many scenarios..argh@#%$..