China reiterated on Friday that it has no military bases in Central Asia amid reports that the Asian giant plans to build a special base in the eastern part of Tajikistan for its interior ministry, according to the statement by the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.
“I can explicitly state that China does not have any military bases in Central Asia,” Wang Wenbin told a briefing.
The diplomat, however, did not give a direct answer to the question about Tajikistan’s statements that China will build a special base in the eastern part of the post-Soviet country for its interior ministry.
The draft agreement worth $8.9 million for the construction of 12 buildings, including residential and administrative ones, as well as a water reservoir and two observation towers has been adopted by the Tajik parliament. The facilities are planned to span 3,550 square meters (38,211.9 square feet).
Earlier, Tajik First Deputy Interior Minister Abdurahmon Alamshozoda said that the base would be established in the village of Vakhon in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty‘s (RFE/RL) Tajik Service.
However, Tajik officials affirmed that Chinese PLA troops will not be commissioned there.
Earlier, EurAsian Times reported citing Washington Post that PLA troops have been posted on Tajikistan’s south-eastern border across Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor.
Soldiers reportedly wear the insignia of the Xinjiang units of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In 2016, Chinese mine-resistant armored vehicles bearing the logo of China’s paramilitary forces were photographed patrolling Baza’i Gonbad in the Wakhan Corridor.
To respect Russian sensitivities — Moscow being Dushanbe’s main security provider — China’s forces in Tajikistan could plausibly be composed of paramilitaries under PLA command or perhaps PLA troops out of standard uniform, Washington Post had reported.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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