China Resumes Import of Pine Nuts from Afghanistan

An Afghan man prepares pine nuts for sell at his shop in Kabul, Afghanistan. China has reactivated a direct air trade link with Afghanistan in a bid to assist the war-ravaged neighbor's new Taliban rulers in dealing with a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis. A cargo plane carrying 45 tons of pine nuts Sunday flew out of Kabul for Chinese markets, marking the restoration of the commercial corridor after the Islamist Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August. “We hope the commercial activity will continue and boost our trade ties with China,” Bilal Karimi, a Taliban government spokesman, told VOA. He said the export of pine nuts was an outcome of recent wide-ranging “good discussions” between Kabul and Beijing, anticipating progress in other areas of bilateral trade in coming days. “Today’s export of pine nuts in particular marks a new good beginning (in relations between the two countries),” Karimi added.

“The income reaching hundreds of millions of U. S. dollars, [is] greatly benefiting many Afghan farmers,” tweeted Wang Yu, the Chinese ambassador in Kabul after seeing off the cargo flight.

“The little pine nuts bring happiness to Afghan people and good taste to Chinese people, and ‘pine nut air corridor’ is the important bond of friendship between our two countries,” the ambassador wrote.