Speculations of a Chinese Military Base being built in Afghanistan have been doing the rounds since last year. Why does China feel the need to build a Military Base in Afghanistan? Is Afghanistan willing to build a Chinese Military base on its lands?
China, a growing superpower, is concerned about terrorist organisations infiltrating into the peaceful regions of China via the terror-stricken Afghan region. China is in talks with Afghanistan about building a Chinese Military base to strengthen control over the border shared with its neighbour.
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The Chinese military base is expected to be built at the Wakhan Corridor, a rocky and remote region in Afghanistan. According to witnesses, both Chinese and Afghani military have been seen conducting joint vigils in the area, strengthening the speculation of a China Military base in the region.
Chinese Military Base: A Measure to Expand Economic and Geopolitical Influence
The China Military Base in Afghanistan will also play a vital role in Beijing’s attempt to expand it’s geopolitical as well as economic power over the region. The Chinese government are spending large amounts of money in building infrastructure in the South Asia region. With a fragile border and the scope of terrorists infiltrating the Chinese region, it could lead to destabilisation of the region and play havoc to security measures.
China believes that members of ETIM, a terrorist group, are crossing into china through Wakhan and carrying out terror attacks. It is also concerned about members of other terror groups running away from Syria and Iraq may infiltrate into China across Central Asia.
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A spokesperson from Defense Ministry of Afghanistan said that the plan to build a Chinese Military base has been in discussions since the end of last year but the final details have not been established. He also said that Afghanistan is going to build the military base, provided the Chinese govt. extends financial help, equipment and training for the Afghani soldiers, as committed.
China and Afghanistan Officials Deny Chinese Military Base Claims
However, both the Chinese and the Afghan officials deny the building of any Chinese military base in Afghanistan. A statement by the defence ministry of China stated that the Chinese army is in no way involved in any military operations in the remote Afghan region.
The fact that China has provided Afghanistan with over 70 million dollars of military aid over the last three years, it comes as no surprise that China is threatened by the militants impacting its economic interests in the region. Building a China military base in Afghanistan is thus a profitable move for both nations.