China Refutes Rumours About Its Military Deployment to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan

© AFP 2022 / ZAKERIA HASHIMIA man walks along a road outside Bagram Air Base, after all US and NATO troops left, some 70 Km north of Kabul on July 2, 2021.
A man walks along a road outside Bagram Air Base, after all US and NATO troops left, some 70 Km north of Kabul on July 2, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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Earlier, a photo emerged online allegedly showing Afghanistan's Bagram Base, largely deserted since the US abandoned it in July, with its flood lights on. Some netizens claimed to have seen Chinese military planes landing and taking off during last weekend.
The Chinese ambassador in Afghanistan, Wang Yu, described the recent media and social media reports about a Chinese military presence at Bagram Air Base as "fabricated rumours".
The diplomat claimed that the allegations were created with an "ulterior purpose", without elaborating on the purpose.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin earlier rejected claims about a Chinese military deployment at Bagram, calling the statements by some media outlets "a piece of purely false information". The Chinese Defence Ministry also dismissed the claims as fake after they first surfaced in several Indian news media outlets.

What Allegedly Happened at Bagram?

On 2 October a photo allegedly showing the Bagram Air Base with its floodlights turned on in the middle of the night emerged on social media along with claims that Chinese military planes had landed and taken off from the airfield during the day. Some netizens, however, alleged that the base's lights were switched on to help defend it against purported attacks by the resistance - a group that defies and fights against Taliban* rule.
Vahdat, a Taliban soldier and former prisoner, sits on a chair at Bagram Air Base in Parwan, Afghanistan, September 23, 2021. Picture taken September 23, 2021. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS  - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.10.2021
Ex-US Bagram Base 'Active Again' Amid Unconfirmed Media Claims of China's Interest in Airfield
The Bagram Air Base is largely dormant after the US abandoned it in July and the Taliban took over. The insurgent group, which seized power in Afghanistan on 15 August, is believed to lack the trained personnel to repair and operate the few remaining aircraft at the base, formerly the main American stronghold in the country.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries
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