[source] China has a new client state.
The prominent Dutch newspaper Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant (NRC) sees the recent events in Afghanistan as the Death Knell to American Hegemony. The NRC is a US-friendly newspaper, like all media in Western Europe, empire thingy.
A few hours after the Taliban took over power in Kabul, the Chinese already signaled to be ready for friendly relations with these warriors, straight from the 7th century. Afghanistan is very mineral rich; most interesting potential: lithium, rare earths, gold, silver, zinc, iron.
But most interesting are the lithium deposits, that could be one of the largest reserves in the world, matching those in size of South-America:
[mining.com] – $1 Trillion Motherlode of Lithium and Gold Discovered in Afghanistan
A recently unearthed 2007 United States Geological Service survey appears to have discovered nearly $1 trillion in mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself.
The US suffered a major geopolitical defeat, and an unnecessary one. The willing European allies were caught by surprise by this blunder (Alzheimer president, Alzheimer policies). For the unwillingness to pay a small price of an occupation force of merely a few thousand troops, the West lost access to immense commodity reserves. China got Afghanistan and its resources thrown into its lap, thank you very much!
And another major potential geopolitical fact has been overlooked so far, namely that China now has a land bridge to Iran via Afghanistan as well, after it acquired a first one since 2015, via Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan, nice-to-have’s for the Chinese and their New Silk Road project. Don’t be surprised that one day, when the dust has settled, China, Afghanistan and Iran announce the construction of a pipeline between Iran and China over Afghan territory, making China less vulnerable to Anglo maritime blockades of the Gulf. Dirt-poor Afghanistan needs to be propped up economically by some Big Spender, who doesn’t interfere with internal policies and value-systems. That big spender is going to be China, not the West.
[Stratfor] China now has TWO landbridges to Iran and the Gulf: Pakistan and Afghanistan. SCO (Russia + China) now dominates everything between the Arctic Sea and the Gulf and Himalaya. The Godfather of modern geopolitics, Halford John Mackinder, is turning in his grave.
Expect China to operate much smarter that then West, that tried in vain to impose its insane globalist-Marxist ideologies onto a deeply Islamic country. The US research institute Pew noted in 2013 [*] that Afghanistan is the most archaic Islamic country on earth, with 99% supporting the Sharia as the desired law of the land and no less than 85% supported stoning [**] as an acceptable form of punishment. The reason why the Taliban took over the country in record time, was that the Taliban IS Afghanistan. Western media love to present rare liberal-minded female Afghan collaborators from Kabul without headwear, but these people are the exception. The vast majority supports the Taliban.
In 1980, the USSR invaded Afghanistan in order to keep a communist regime in the saddle. The Soviets lost the war against the Jihadists, were forced to withdraw, and shortly after, their society collapsed. Expect a similar result for America, after abandoning the “Graveyard of Empires”, and having to face the 2nd test: the Chinese Hong Kong-style take-over of Taiwan. The US will fail to protect that country as well. After that exercise, Beijing will own Taiwan, with its main economic asset, TSMC, responsible for perhaps 50% of the world’s chip production, the numbers vary depending on who you ask:
[economist.com] – How TSMC has mastered the geopolitics of chipmaking
The most important firm in this critical business is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (tsmc). It controls 84% of the market for chips with the smallest, most efficient circuits on which the products and services of the world’s biggest technology brands, from Apple in America to Alibaba in China, rely.
[asia.nikkei.com] – The $490bn question: Can the world afford its Taiwan chip dependence?
Asia has become the heart of global semiconductor production as the industry has grown, thanks partly to the international division of labor between design and manufacturing. Taiwan and South Korea together account for about 43% of semiconductor production capacity worldwide, according to a Boston Consulting Group report. The U.S. has dropped 7 percentage points over the past two decades to 12%, and has been surpassed by China at 15%.
It’s obvious that Taiwan is FAR more important than Hong Kong. If Beijing takes back their “renegade province”, China will dominate the global chip market.
For Europe, the situation isn’t that dire, because it is a little known fact that the Dutch company of ASML controls more than 90% of the market for chips manufacturing machines (yours faithfully is intimately acquainted with ASML, from the inside). ASML, not TSMC, Intel, Apple, Samsung, etc., holds all the technological cards, meaning that China won’t have that much long-term leverage over Europe. But over the US, they will have.
If the EU decided to forbid exporting these machines to China, Japan and the US, said countries would fall back to the industrial Stone Age in a couple of years. Tantalizing thought. Whatever, the EU is well advised with reducing its chips manufacturing capacity from East-Asia, as the EU intends to do.
[dw.de] – Afghanistan: Taliban to reap $1 trillion mineral wealth
[cnn.com] – The Taliban are sitting on $1 trillion worth of minerals the world desperately needs
[n-tv.de] – Taliban sitzen auf riesigem Lithium-Vorkommen
[rtlnieuws.nl] – China wil Afghaanse grondstoffen: er ligt voor meer dan 1000 miljard
[source] Afghan mineral resource map