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China funds Tajik special forces base near Afghan border

Russia prepares to protect Tajikistan's government from ethnic Tajik militia based in Afghanistan

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Soldiers during joint war games conducted by Russian and Tajik troops north of Afghan border on Oct. 22, 2021. (Russian Defense Ministry Pre...

Soldiers during joint war games conducted by Russian and Tajik troops north of Afghan border on Oct. 22, 2021. (Russian Defense Ministry Pre...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tajikistan’s parliament said on Thursday (Oct. 28) that China will fund the construction of a base for a special forces unit of the Tajik police on the Tajik-Afghan border.

The outpost will be nestled in the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan's eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, which borders China's Xinjiang region as well as the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan, according to a Reuters report. No Chinese troops will be stationed at the facility, a spokesperson for the Tajik parliament stated.

The announcement comes amid increasing tensions between Tajikistan’s government and the new Taliban leadership in Afghanistan.

Tajikistan’s President, Emomali Rakhmon, has refused to recognize the Taliban and has called for a more diverse representation of ethnic groups within Afghanistan’s government. Tajiks are the second-biggest ethnicity in that country.

Meanwhile, Kabul has warned Tajikistan’s government not to intervene in its domestic affairs.

The Taliban have formed an alliance with an ethnic Tajik militant group residing in northern Afghanistan. The group seeks to overthrow Rakhmon's government in Tajikistan.

Russian media reported that the group may be planning to infiltrate Tajik territory and move to topple the government there. This prompted Moscow — which has a base in Tajikistan — to vow earlier this month it will protect the Rakhmon government from any invasion, per Intellinews.

Russian and Tajik military forces held joint exercises earlier this month near the Tajik-Afghan border. These drills are designed to show Moscow stands ready to protect its ally in the event of an incursion from Afghanistan.

China has invested heavily in Tajikistan in recent years and has occasionally even constructed new buildings in the country, such as the new parliament building, for free.