Jeremy Page, Times Online | May 19, 2008
A 30-year lease of the Afghan copper deposits was sold to the China Metallurgical Group for $3 billion, making it the biggest foreign investment in Afghanistan’s history. ++ While critics argue Afghanistan is too ill-equipped to absorb such huge sums of money or to assess the social and environmental costs, most Afghans see the deal as their only chance for the future. ++ The Chinese are obliged to build infrastructure, schools, hospitals and mosques. ++ It could help wean the country off the opium which funds the Taliban insurgency.