The Chinese Department of Defense said on Thursday that it would not build a military base in Afghanistan or send troops into the troubled country.
However, the ministry acknowledged that China supports Afghanistan to expand its defense and anti-terrorist capacity. "China and the international community are all supporting Afghanistan in strengthening its defense and anti-terrorist efforts," said Wu Qian, spokesman for the Department of Defense, during a press conference.
South China Morning Post
Reported that construction of a base had begun and that "China would send at least one battalion of troops along with weapons and equipment to be stationed there and train their Afghan counterparts."
The daily later updated its data citing the Afghan embassy in Beijing as saying that China would help Afghanistan to found a mountain brigade in the north of the country to increase anti-terrorism efforts. But it emphasized that "at no time will Chinese military personnel be on any Afghan soil."
The Chinese Ministry of Defense affirmed the message of the Afghan Embassy that this was not the case of deploying troops in Afghanistan. "As for the so-called reports on Chinese stationing forces in Afghanistan, this is not consistent with the facts," Wu said.
Asked about China's role in training an Afghan mountain brigade, the spokesman said China and Afghanistan had "normal military and security cooperation."
reported on January 1
Gene. Waziri had then said that the Chinese side would cover all the material and technical expenditures for that base – weapons, uniforms for soldiers, military equipment and everything else that is necessary for its functioning.
According to FNA, the decision was made to build the facility the visit of Afghan Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami in December 2017 in China. During his visit, Mr. Bahrami met his former Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan and other high officials. The FNA said that Bahrami and Gen. Chang agreed that their anti-terrorist focus should be limited not only to Badakhshan but to Afghanistan's entire northern region.
Afghan analysts said the largest group of Uyghur militants are already living in Badakhshan, from where they can quickly move to China, destabilize the province of Xinjiang and the Chinese belt and road initiative of Chinese Hamper President Xi Jinping.
Earlier Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute for South and Southeast Asia and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations had told
that "those in Xinjiang who seek independence … choose the route between China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and even Pakistan to West Asia … We want to close this river between Xinjiang and Tajikistan and Tajikistan and Afghanistan."