Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force
Military Times: Chinese troops appear to be operating in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon is OK with it
WASHINGTON — 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.
This dynamic stands in stark contrast to the two sides' feisty rhetoric over their ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, and to Washington's vocal condemnation of Russian and Iranian activity in Afghanistan. One explanation may be that this quiet arrangement is mutually beneficial.
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WNU Editor: This is actually old news and it is not gotten the news coverage that it deserves It was reported first 2 weeks ago .... Mystery deepens over Chinese forces in Afghanistan (Financial Times). More here .... Are Chinese Forces Conducting Patrols in Afghanistan? (The Diplomat).