Nov 1, 2021
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201 division and PLA will defend Tajikistan from Taliban *

201 division and PLA will defend Tajikistan from Taliban *

Photo: Petr Kovalev / TASS

When they talk about the border of Tajikistan with Afghanistan, they usually remember the Pyanj River. But there are places on this long, winding border, where only mountains are ever higher and gorges, less and less passable. It was there, in the Pamirs, in the Wakhan Gorge of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, that China decided to build a special base for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan. Its cost is almost nine million dollars. The draft agreement on its construction was discussed and adopted by the parliament of the republic.

If in Tajik currency, then the base is estimated at one hundred million somoni. If in yuan – 55 million. But the point is that China is building, and, as it were, not for the Ministry of Defense, but for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. There is a corresponding agreement between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Public Security of China, – said the deputy head of the Tajik law enforcement agency. Abdurahmon Alamshozoda… But all the same, questions remain, that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that the Ministry of Defense are law enforcement agencies. At some point, with the onset of time “H”, some security officials can be quickly replaced by others.

Alexey Maslov, Director of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences believes that China does not consider the future facility as a base for its armed forces:

– Formally, this is the base for carrying out repair work for Chinese military equipment. It should be perfectly understood that the talk is still about a reaction to the Afghan situation. It is necessary to jointly protect the Tajik borders, the borders of Central Asia from the possible penetration of radical Islam. It seems to me that all this was agreed with the Russian side. I don’t think this poses any serious threat to us.

China has long spoken about the need to establish foreign military bases. But while the real operating base is only in eastern Africa, in Djibouti, China uses it for technical work, and not as a base for offensive forces. Therefore, nothing special is happening in Tajikistan.

“SP”: – According to RIA Novosti, Tajik security officials with their families will be deployed at the base. Are you saying that there will be Chinese specialists as well?

– This is a joint base where both Tajik and Chinese contingents will be deployed. It should also be borne in mind that the Tajik security forces are largely trained by Russian specialists, there are Russian advisers there. So, in fact, in my opinion, the base in many ways turns out to be three-sided …

Not far from the Vakhan gorge of the Ishkashim region of Gorno-Badakhshan, it is planned to deploy a rapid response group of the Tajik Interior Ministry’s Department for Combating Organized Crime. Under the agreement, all equipment imported to Tajikistan from the Celestial Empire during the construction of the base will be exempt from taxes and customs duties.

The construction of 12 buildings is planned: an administrative building, a hostel, a dining room, living quarters, water tanks and two observation towers. The total area of ​​the complex will be three and a half thousand square meters.

In these places, where the borders of at least three states are located nearby: Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And not so far away – China and Kyrgyzstan. Before, here, a little to the south, in Pakistan, there was only one ancient fortress, preserved from the time of British rule. And now the hands of the official authorities finally reached

And all because in the opinion Deputy Director of the Institute of the Far East Andrey Ostrovskythat the situation with Afghanistan has become very aggravated:

– Therefore, China’s assistance would not hurt – in my personal opinion. It is not known what will happen – will our 201st Russian division alone be able to resist the Taliban *? I think that the military presence there needs to be strengthened. The fact that China is included is good.

“SP”: – Will it increase too much?

“But on the other hand, the strengthening of the Taliban does not promise anything good either. Moreover, his route is known – to the north. We have already been able to verify this.

“SP”: – It is strange for us to hear that the Chinese are building a military base in Tajikistan. Many newcomers from this country work at our Moscow construction sites. As if there are not enough of their own builders?

– I am opposed to migrants from Central Asia working at construction sites in large numbers. Previously, for construction in Moscow there were quite enough visitors from the regions surrounding the capital. And now they have been replaced by guests from the republics of the near abroad. They often behave inappropriately …

Still, this is some kind of “break in the pattern”: Tajiks work on our construction sites, and they invite Chinese to their place. But Tajiks appeared at Moscow construction sites due to the surplus of labor in their homeland. As well as visitors from Uzbekistan. Here they receive much more than in their homeland. If they were bad with us, they would not have come here. It is profitable for them with us. But it is impossible to use the full potential of the Tajik labor force inside the country – there is too much of it for the industry of this country.

So they are coming to us, he believes inmilitary expert Viktor Litovkin, who suggests finding out what will be placed on the future base:

– It can also be a reconnaissance facility or a storage base for some kind of ammunition, material and technical means. We still need to clarify what these are: tanks, artillery or rifle troops. Tajiks will certainly work on the construction of a military base together with the Chinese.

I believe that there will appear, to put it mildly, a rather “modest object”, with the deployment of not a division, but a battalion. There is nothing wrong with that. Within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), there is a direction in the fight against terrorism. China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other SCO member states are doing this jointly. Therefore, the joint actions of Russia and China on the territory of Tajikistan, of course, with the participation of the Tajik military, is to strengthen the border, strengthen the ability to resist the penetration of terrorist groups into the territory of Tajikistan, as well as further north, into Kazakhstan and into the territory of Russia.

In addition, one should not forget about the penetration of drugs from the territory of Afghanistan. Therefore, I would only welcome the joint work of Russia, China and Tajikistan. It brings you closer.

And then I want to say that there is no sensation that China feels quite free in Tajikistan. China has been providing economic assistance to this country for a long time. Provides the Tajik armed forces with various computers, buses, cars. This technique can be easily seen when you come to this republic, you go to the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan. Everything is Chinese there.

Moreover, the Chinese are working in mines, mining there gold in the Upper Kumarg and Eastern Duoba deposits in the Sughd region, diamonds, instead of building power plants, power lines that have united separate parts of the country’s energy system, which is important in the face of long-term winter energy shortages. In the capital Dushanbe, the Chinese have built a thermal power plant. More than four hundred Chinese companies operate there, these are the largest taxpayers and major exporters.

They have infiltrated the country’s economy. Therefore, today I would not say that the appearance of special objects is dangerous. We need to understand to what extent and for what purposes they operate there, and to what extent this will be consistent with the national interests of Russia, the SCO and the organization of the Collective Security Treaty. Tajikistan and Russia signed this agreement. I think that Tajikistan does nothing without the consent of its allies under this treaty …

I partly agree with this statement independent military expert Alexander Khramchikhin, who also believes that the Chinese have been in Tajikistan for a long time:

– Since it is impossible to hide further, they decided to legalize it. For Russia, this is not something that is literally dangerous, directly, but it is obvious that Tajikistan is gradually moving from the Russian sphere of influence to the Chinese one. All this is more than obvious.

“SP”: – It would seem that the mountainous terrain at an altitude of five thousand meters above sea level is not needed by anyone except “snow people”. But half a century ago, China “bit off” a large chunk of Tibet from India. Is Tajikistan taking a bite now?

– Not only a piece of Tajikistan, but also a piece of Kyrgyzstan. It was just done in secret. Russia cannot do anything about it. It is possible to throw a hysterics against the Americans, but not against China …

* The Taliban movement was recognized by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation as a terrorist organization on February 14, 2003, its activities on the territory of Russia were prohibited.

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