Connect with us

World

Kabul: China in Talks to Fund Military Base on Afghanistan Border

Afghan officials told reporters this week that Beijing is reportedly holding discussions with Kabul ..

Afghan officials told reporters this week that Beijing is reportedly holding discussions with Kabul over establishing a military base near China’s border with Afghanistan.

Chinese officials reportedly cited concerns about the threat posed by Uighur jihadists in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, considered by the Pentagon to be home to the “highest concentration” of terrorists in the world.

Afghanistan shares a border with the autonomous Xinjiang region—China’s largest province. Xinjiang is home to China’s oppressed Muslim Uighur (or Uyghur) minority, whose separatist groups reportedly train and operate in the Af-Pak region.

Kabul and Beijing have been in talks over China’s military establishment since December, but details remain elusive, indicated Mohammad Radmanesh, a spokesman for the Kabul-based defense ministry.

“We are going to build it (the base) but the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers,” he told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.

An unnamed Chinese embassy official in Kabul only told AFP Beijing is involved in “capacity-building” in Afghanistan, without explicitly confirming any projects.

The U.S.-NATO mission in Afghanistan declined to comment.

However, U.S. troops, which have been fighting terrorists in Afghanistan since October 2001, are “aware” of China’s military presence in China and do not appear to be concerned, Breitbart News learned from the Pentagon, which recently reported:

China’s low, but increasing levels of military, economic, and political engagement in Afghanistan are driven by domestic security concerns that violent extremism will spread across the Afghan border into China and China’s increasing desire to protect its regional economic investments.

China is a member of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) seeking to support Afghan and Taliban peace and reconciliation efforts

China has been providing military aid to Afghanistan, a move that the American military has encouraged under U.S. President Donald Trump.

AFP reports:

The army camp will be built in Afghanistan’s remote and mountainous Wakhan Corridor, where witnesses have reported seeing Chinese and Afghan troops on joint patrols. The freezing, barren panhandle of land — bordering China’s tense Xinjiang region—is so cut off from the rest of Afghanistan that many inhabitants are unaware of the Afghan conflict, scraping out harsh but peaceful lives.

However they retain strong links with neighbors in Xinjiang, and with so few travelers in the region local interest in the Chinese visitors has been high, residents told AFP on a recent visit there.

Uighurs linked to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which is also maintain a presence in Afghanistan, have vowed to return to China and “shed blood like rivers.”

AFP notes:

Beijing fears that exiled Uighur members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are passing through the Wakhan into Xinjiang to carry out attacks

It also worries that Islamic State group militants fleeing Iraq and Syria could cross Central Asia and Xinjiang to reach Afghanistan, or use the Wakhan to enter China, analysts say.

Beijing has already deployed troops to war-ravaged Syria to keep Uighur jihadists there in check.

China’s jihadi threat primarily emanates from neighboring Pakistan and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. While China borders mainland Afghanistan, the Asian giant shares an international boundary with Pakistan occupied Kashmir, a region that New Delhi, Beijing, and Islamabad claim as their own.

Pakistan and its top ally China consider India to be their regional rival. China is already reportedly planning to establish a military base in Pakistan.

Beijing’s interest in building a base in Afghanistan comes amid Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure across South Asia.

The success of OBOR, or the modern-day Silk Road, is contingent upon lasting peace and stability in South Asia, which means China can no longer ignore the war across its border.

China has also invested in Afghanistan’s lucrative mineral mining industry, a move that critics believe comes at the expense of America’s sacrifices throughout the ongoing more than 16-year-old war.

In October, AFP learned from local members of the Kyrgyz ethnic minority in Afghanistan that Chinese and Afghan military have been conducting patrols on for months.

“We were strictly told not to go near them or talk to them and not to take any photos,” revealed Abdul Rashid, a Kyrgyz chief, adding that he had seen vehicles flying Chinese flags driving around Afghan territory since last summer.

Nevertheless, both China and Afghanistan continue to deny the repeated claims that they are conducting military operations together, points out AFP.

While Kabul’s access to the remote Wakhan Corridor is limited, preventing it from providing many services, China has been bringing supplies, locals told AFP.

Original Article

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Over 21,000 People Killed since UN Global Ceasefire-Resolution

At least 21,347 people have been killed in conflict, including more than 5,800 civilian adults and c..

At least 21,347 people have been killed in conflict, including more than 5,800 civilian adults and children who were directly targeted[i], despite the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a global cessation of hostilities some 90 days ago. Instead of a ceasefire, allowing countries and humanitarian organisations to focus on battling the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing violence is pushing millions to the brink of conflict-induced famine and hindering the battle against the outbreak. (more…)

Continue Reading

World

COVID-19 could reverse gains made for African children, warns Save the Children

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even dec..

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even decades, witheconomic aftershocks risking to push an additional 33 million children into poverty, according to Save the Children. (more…)

Continue Reading

World

COVID-19 threatening global peace and security, UN chief warns

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks to the Security Council on the COVID-19 ..

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks to the Security Council on the COVID-19 pandemic, in New York, today: (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending