Republicans warn CHINA could claim Bagram base Biden abandoned two months before fall of Afghanistan
Nikki Haley warns that CHINA could take over Bagram air base as Taliban look to Beijing for help
- Former UN ambassador warns China could move to air base cleared by US forces in July
- Nikki Haley urged Biden administration to reach out to allies as part of strategy to keep rivals out of Afghanistan
- Meanwhile, the Taliban said China was their main international partner
According to Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, the US must rebuild fragile alliances with partner countries or risk rivals such as China moving to Afghanistan to collect strategic assets, including Bagram Air Base.
The fate of the base, which was abandoned by US troops in the middle of the night in early July, has been seized upon by critics of President Biden to symbolize what they believe was an ill-conceived withdrawal.
And now the base, which was once the centerpiece of the US war in Afghanistan, could be a prize for rivals looking to extend their reach.
“We need to keep an eye on China because I think you’ll see China make a move towards Bagram Air Force Base,” Haley said in an interview with Fox News as she advocated reconnecting with allies who felt abandoned. by a sudden attack. recording.
Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, warned that China was monitoring Bagram Air Force Base, which was once the center of US war effort in Afghanistan
US forces slipped out of Bagram overnight on July 1 without even informing the Afghan commander who was about to strike the massive air base
Blast walls and a few buildings can be seen at Bagram Air Force Base after the US military left the base, in Parwan Province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Their departure marked the effective end of the 20-year American war in the country
The Biden administration has been criticized for abandoning Bagram Air Force Base before withdrawing US citizens and Afghan allies. The move left US troops dependent on a civilian airport, with a single airstrip in the heart of a city controlled by the Taliban
“I think they are also taking a step in Afghanistan and trying to use Pakistan to get stronger against India.
“So we have a lot of problems. The most important thing he needs to do is strengthen our allies, strengthen those relationships, modernize our military and make sure we are prepared for the cybercrime and terrorist crimes that are coming our way.”
While Western countries evacuated their embassies, the Chinese mission continued to run. Their guards simply turn from Afghan government security forces to Taliban gunmen.
The Taliban have already started discussing plans for cooperation with Beijing.
A Taliban spokesman told an Italian newspaper that Afghanistan’s new rulers will rely primarily on funding from China to avert an impending humanitarian crisis and begin reconstruction.
“China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us as it is ready to invest and rebuild our country,” Zabihullah Mujahid told La Repubblica in an interview.
He also praised the New Silk Road — an infrastructure initiative with China used to open trade routes — and said investment in Beijing could help reopen copper mines.
“You may have donated Afghanistan to China,” said Jim Carafano of the conservative Heritage Foundation. ‘This has major strategic implications.
The area is said to provide a land bridge to Central Asia for China as it seeks to expand its influence.
For now, he added, Beijing is likely to use public diplomacy and investment as part of a long game rather than make a sudden push for assets on the ground.
But Bagram had enormous propaganda value for all players of Afghanistan.
“The photo of a Chinese plane delivering humanitarian aid to the Taliban landing at Bagram Air Force Base – who wouldn’t want that photo,” he said.
“But that’s different from basing stealth fighters on Bagram.
“What is correct is that all of this has a strategic dimension for China.