Development came after Chinese, Afghanistan foreign ministers meeting in Doha last week
KABUL: (AFP) – To play its major role in Afghanistan, China and the new Taliban government has reached an agreement to resume trade between Beijing and Kabul, according to the official.
A first cargo plane carrying pine nuts arrived in Beijing after the two sides agreed to open the Afghanistan-China air corridor to facilitate Afghan people in the current difficult economic situation after the US imposed several sanctions against Afghanistan.
“A cargo plane carrying pine nuts took off from Kabul International Airport to China after officials of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan inaugurated the air corridor,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter.
In 2018, Afghanistan inaugurated the Afghan-China air corridor to facilitate its pine nut exports to China.
The Pine nut trees grow in eight eastern provinces of Afghanistan, bordering with Pakistan, including Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Kapisa, Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan and Laghman union.
Last week, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi met his Afghan counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi in Doha and discussed establishing good relations with the new Afghan government.
When the Taliban took over Kabul in mid-August, US imposed sanctions on a war-torn country that pushed its economy into trouble.
Washington also froze the Afghan government over $9.5 billion in assets that caused a huge economic crisis in Afghanistan, and collapsed the business activities in the country.
Several countries, including China, Russia, Pakistan and Qatar, urged the US to de-freeze Afghanistan assets, as the Washington move could cause a huge humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the war-torn country now facing severe winter.
– Welcome development for Afghan people
Sabah Aslam, Security expert and the Executive Director of Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR), Islamabad based think tank, said the resumption of trade between Kabul and Beijing is welcoming development.
“The post withdrawal situation in Afghanistan opened up not only challenges but opportunities for the Afghan people as the financial vacuum has to be filled with more regional trade and cooperation,” she told Asia Free Press (AFP).
She added that the Afghanistan-China trade is a welcoming development not only for the general public but also for the Afghan state and region.