China on Wednesday rejected that it planned to build a military base in Afghanistan, after media reported Beijing was constructing a training camp for Afghan troops to which it could also send its own soldiers.
“These reports are not true,” Hua Chunying China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told at a briefing.
The South China Morning Post reported that China has started building a training camp for Afghan troops in a narrow corridor that connects the two countries – a project Beijing is fully funding to help its neighbor improve counterterrorism efforts, sources close to the military claimed.
In the meantime, the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) declared that no practical measures have been taken so far but bargaining on the issue is underway.
“The vague policies of NATO and U.S. have made the Russia and China to interfere such as bombarding Takhar province and building military base in Wakhan area of Badakhshan. These are clear examples of their direct interference,” Jawid Kohestani, a military analyst asserted.
Badakhshan province has a common border for several tens of kilometers with the Chinese state of Xinjiang, the origins of groups such as Uyghur militants. Experts are said to believe that China is trying to prevent these threats.
“China is concerning over the presence of Uyghur militants and tries to strengthening its military presence in Afghanistan,” Asadullah Nadim, another military analyst added.
It was not the first time reports have pointed to China seeking a military presence in Afghanistan, although it has denied all of them.
In January, the defense ministry denied a similar report that it planned to build a military base in Afghanistan.