Chinese Military Enters Afghanistan Fray with Pentagon’s Knowledge

AFP/File Greg Baker
AFP/File Greg Baker

The United States is aware of, but not openly reacting to, Chinese military ground operations inside war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Adam Stump, a Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, confirmed to Breitbart News that the Pentagon is fully “aware” of the communist country’s military operations on Afghan soil, adding that the U.S. mission continues apace.

China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang, home to the country’s largest concentration of its Muslim Uighur minority, borders Afghanistan.

Uighurs fighting with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which has established a presence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, recently vowed to return to China and “shed blood like rivers” in an ISIS propaganda video.

In recent months, news reports from the communist country’s regional rival India have repeatedly claimed that Beijing has carried out military patrols inside its neighbor Afghanistan.

Asked to comment on China conducting military patrols on Afghan soil, the DoD spokesman told Breitbart News:

We’re aware of the reporting.  For any details or goals, you would need to talk to the Chinese or Afghans.

Our primary mission remains to protect the homeland by preventing Afghanistan from being used again as a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States or our allies.  Complementing the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. This operation, the largest and longest in NATO’s history, focuses on training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and the Afghan Security Institutions to achieve a secure and stable Afghanistan.

At Kabul’s request, China began to provide military aid to Afghanistan via a Russia last year, as former President Barack Obama’s administration further reduced the U.S. military presence in the country amid deteriorating security conditions.

Military Times reports:

There is mounting evidence that Chinese ground troops are operating inside Afghanistan, conducting joint counter-terror patrols with Afghan forces along a 50-mile stretch of their shared border and fueling speculation that Beijing is preparing to play a significantly greater role in the country’s security once the U.S. and NATO leave.

The full scope of China’s involvement remains unclear, and the Pentagon is unwilling to discuss it. “We know that they are there, that they are present,” a Pentagon spokesman said. Yet beyond a subtle acknowledgement, U.S. military officials in Washington and in Kabul would not respond to several detailed questions submitted by Military Times.

The Pentagon referred Breitbart News to the Chinese and Afghan governments for more details on China’s role in Afghanistan.

China and Afghanistan have denied the news reports about Chinese military ground patrols inside the war-ravaged nation.

“But then there’s this peculiarity: In January, Chinese media circulated a report about Chinese troops allegedly rescuing a U.S. special forces team that had been attacked in Afghanistan,” notes Military Times. “The story is likely bogus propaganda, and U.S. officials in Afghanistan say no U.S. personnel have been part of any operations involving Chinese forces, but it would seem to underscore the two countries’ shared interest in combating terrorism there.”

China is concerned about the terrorism threat emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, home to 20 of the 98 U.S. or United Nations-designated terrorists organizations around the world, according to the U.S. military.

In particular, the al-Qaeda-linked Uighur group known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and ISIS threaten China.


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