The Chinese Communist Party is said to be taking over the Afghanistan's Bagram Air Base, which was previously the largest military base of the United States.
WND reported that China is moving to take control of the Bagram Air Base, also known as the Bagram Airfield, based on social media information that has come out in the past week. The said information comes after reports have shown in early September that China had interests in the said airbase.
"In early September, US News and World Report said China was interested in using the base, which was abandoned by the US weeks before the military's final departure from Afghanistan," WND said.
The US News and World Report highlighted that China is assessing the possibility of using the base as its forward outpost although the government denied reports on it. However, Iran International Senior Correspondent Tajuden Soroush tweeted on Sunday that Chinese military planes have been spotted in the airbase.
"Sources in Bagram say they have seen military planes are landing at Bagram airbase. Earlier reported that some Chinese are seen there either but the Taliban denied it. Bagram was the beggest U.S. base in Afghanistan and at least 3 U.S. president visited during the last 20 years," Soroush announced.
Soroush's announcement was similarly reported by freelance journalist Natiq Malikzada on the same day. Malikzada raised that the base's lights were on and raised the possiblity that China is already occupying the facility.
"The lights at Bagram Military Airport, where it was the main base for U.S. military for 20 years, after nearly two months are on tonight. No information who is there, and why the lights are on tonight after nearly two months...CHINA???" Malikzada said in Twitter.
The lights at Bagram Military Airport, where it was the main base for US military for 20 years, after nearly two months are on tonight. No information who is there, and why the lights are on tonight after nearly two months...
—— CHINA??? pic.twitter.com/oD4zFK6wZt
— Natiq Malikzada (@natiqmalikzada) October 2, 2021
Report: Taliban Leaders Are Meeting at the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan Daily by @JustenCharters https://t.co/cngJtwg4Ay — Natiq Malikzada (@natiqmalikzada) October 2, 2021
Retired U.S. Army Reserve Lawrence Sellin who served in Iraq and Afghanistan was quick to cite the report on China's arrival in the airbase. Sellin posted a photo of the airbase at night with an inset photo of it during the morning showing that it is occupied along with snapshots of the tweets made by Soroush and Malikzada that was reported by the Daily Mail.
"There have been multiple reports of Chinese military planes arriving at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The move would be an attempt by China to strengthen ties with the Taliban and embarrass America," Sellin revealed in Twitter.
There have been multiple reports of Chinese military planes arriving at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The move would be an attempt by China to strengthen ties with the Taliban and embarrass America.https://t.co/vdWhKj88cM
— Dr. Lawrence Sellin (@LawrenceSellin) October 3, 2021
A certain raging545 said in Twitter that the lights of the airbase were turned on to protect it from the attacks of the "#Resistance" happening near it. The said netizen disclosed that someone other than the U.S. troops and the Afghan army turned the said lights on. He also showed a satellite image discrediting claims that a Chinese aircraft is parked in the airbase.
"Some reports suggest due to attacks by the #Resistance near #Bagram base, security lights & systems have been switched on to help protect it. It should be noted that the #Resistance has app 40 helicopters etc in #Uzbekistan that need a base," raging545 said.
The Daily Mail explained that China's move is an attempt to strengthen its ties with the Taliban and to humiliate the United States since the airbase still contains the military equipment left during the Biden administration's botched withdrawal of forces in Afghanistan. Stimson Research Center China Program Director Yun Sun revealed in an interview that the Chinese Communist Party would really be interested in possessing the base.
"Given their past experience, the Chinese must be eager to get their hands on whatever the US has left at the base," Sun said.
Accordingly, the Taliban occupied the airbase after the United States abandoned it but were not able to restore power to the whole base due to their lack of expertise or equipment for it. The Taliban are said to not also have the know-how needed to conduct the flight operations in the airbase. Local reports say the Taliban have denied claims that China has occupied the airbase.