CREAM PhD researcher, Vincent Du, was recently commissioned by Al Jazeera’s award-winning weekly current affairs programme, 101 East, to make a documentary over the summer in Afghanistan. The resulting documentary, The Chinese entrepreneurs chasing an Afghan ‘gold rush’, investigates the rise of Chinese investors in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover. 

When the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, most foreigners and multinational companies had already packed up and left. Going against the stream of foreigners fleeing the country was a group looking for “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities, Chinese entrepreneurs.

Despite the ongoing unrest, an economic crisis and United Nations’ concerns over human rights, more Chinese citizens are joining the country’s so-called ‘gold rush’. Once a small minority, Chinese nationals now make up Afghanistan’s biggest group of expatriates.

With exclusive access to leading Chinese investors, this documentary investigates their growing influence across Afghanistan’s business and media sectors.

The first half of the documentary aired on 24th November, followed by the second half on 1st December 2022.

The full film is available to watch on the Al Jazeera website.