The rapid change in the situation in Afghanistan is just as rapidly changing the military-political situation in the neighbors of the “country of the victorious Taliban.” This is especially true for Tajikistan.
Recently, the Tajik authorities announced that China will build a base in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region bordering Afghanistan and China, but it will belong to the special forces of the Organized Crime Control Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan. According to the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan Abdurahmon Alamshozoda, the base will be built in the village of Vakhan, Ishkashim region.
The base will be built free of charge, and all materials and equipment will receive green corridors at the border. “The construction budget is estimated at RMB 55 million, which is equivalent to approximately TJS 100 million,” – said the deputy of the Majlisi Namoyandagon. Tolibkhon Azimzoda… The construction of the new facility was approved on October 27 in the lower house of the Tajik parliament.
Until now, it was indicated that the base will be exclusively Tajik, but, according to the Tajik edition freedomTajikistan allowed Beijing to build a new base, offering to give China full ownership of the existing base, waiving any rent in exchange for military aid from China. Allegedly this proposal Emomali Rahmon presented to the Minister of Defense of China Wei Fenghe during his trip to Tajikistan earlier in the year.
The existence of a second base was actively denied by both Beijing and Dushanbe. For the first time it was announced in 2019 by the newspaper Washington Post, referring to photos and information from local residents. Reporters from Azattyk reported that there are Chinese personnel at the base, but the facility itself still belongs to Tajikistan.
Satellite image of a military base in the Murghab region. Source – Radio Azattyk
The base is located in the Murghab district, near the village of Shaimak, where during the period of the Russian Empire the captain Polikarp Kuznetsov set up a Shadzhan border post, and then there was a Soviet post. The Americans claim that there are two companies of Chinese soldiers on the well-fortified base, the uniforms of which correspond to the units stationed in Xinjiang.
The presence of the Chinese in the so-called. The Wakhan Corridor is due to the enormous attention that Beijing pays to the Uyghur separatists, whose bases are located in Afghanistan and pose a real threat to the security of the province.
Again, unofficially, the base may be part of a multibillion-dollar project of the Chinese “throw to the West” “One Belt – One Road”, which was enthusiastically supported by the Tajik leadership.
Chinese on the border of Afghanistan
The then ministers of defense of the People’s Republic of China held talks on the possibility of creating a Chinese military base in Afghan Badakhshan Chang Wangquan and Afghanistan Tariq Shah Bahrami back in 2018. The Chinese have long allocated funds to Tajikistan to strengthen the border. A grant was provided for the construction of three commandant’s offices, four border outposts, four border posts and one training center. In 2016, the House of Officers was built in Dushanbe with the financial support of the PRC for $ 19 million. In November 2018, a Center for Combating Terrorism, Extremism and Separatism was opened in the Tajik capital with Chinese money.
The base, if it becomes the property of Beijing, will strengthen control not only over the Wakhan corridor, but also over the north of Afghanistan, Pakistani Chitral and part of Tajikistan, especially over the Indian Farkhor (Parkhar) airbase in the Khatal region of Tajikistan.
The most curious thing is that Tajikistan is “supervised” by the CSTO and the 201st Russian military base. It is unlikely that China is openly competing with Russia for a zone of influence, but Beijing will not ignore the opportunities that have opened up.
It is not clear yet whether China accepted the offer from the Tajik side.
Own. corr. FSK
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