China set to expand military presence in neighboring Tajikistan: Reports

President Joe Biden’s chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan earlier this year led to concerns that the Chinese government would move into Central Asia to fill the resulting power vacuum.

Such speculation appears to be justified amid recent reports that China is building a new military base for neighboring Tajikistan along its border with Afghanistan.

Details of the new base

According to Breitbart, China’s communist regime is also expected to gain complete control of a rumored base already existing somewhere else along the same border.

Reports this week strongly indicate that the absence of U.S. and other international presence in Afghanistan has allowed the Chinese military to establish and expand its own foothold in the region.

As Asia Plus explained, the lower chamber of Tajikistan’s parliament approved a deal that would allow China to construct and fund a military base for a special police unit at a location along the Afghan border. That construction is estimated to cost up to $10 million.

Officials insisted that the base would be manned only by Tajik troops along with the special police unit and would not house any Chinese troops. As for the motivation behind this new base, it appears that the fall of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the subsequent rise of the Taliban has led to a surge in refugees crossing into Tajikistan.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that China’s military appeared to have already been operating a secret base inside of Tajikistan near the nexus of that country’s borders with China and Afghanistan.

Secret Tajik-Chinese arrangement

A secret agreement was reportedly reached in which Tajikistan would cede full control and ownership to China of a base the Chinese military has occupied for at least the past five years — and which both nations previously denied even existed.

In exchange, the Chinese regime reportedly vowed to provide more military aid to Tajikistan, presumably including the construction of additional military bases along Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Although the area is located along China’s western flank and arguably represents a reasonable place for its military to maintain a significant presence, this is just the latest potentially troubling expansion by the communist regime in recent months.

A hypersonic missile test earlier this year put reportedly caught U.S. officials off guard, though China claimed that it was merely a “routine” mission.

Of course, without U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan after a constant presence for the past two decades, experts worry that China’s influence in the region and beyond will only continue to grow.

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