Report: China ramps up security presence in Tajikistan
BEIJING – An independent think tank says China’s military is ramping up its security presence in Tajikistan with troop deployments amid fears that militants based in nearby Afghanistan could strike at western China.
The International Crisis Group said in a report Wednesday that China has deployed soldiers and built a “counter-terrorism center” in Tajikistan near the three-way border of Tajikistan, China and Afghanistan.
China has repeatedly warned about ethnic Uighur militants who have left their homeland in western China to join extremist groups such as the Turkistan Islamic Party, a predominantly Uighur group that has bases in Syria and Afghanistan and is allied with al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The Chinese defense ministry did not immediately respond to a fax seeking comment.