Beijing denies plan to build military base in Afghanistan

China’s Defense Ministry on Thursday denied that it was planning to build a military base in northern Afghanistan. Spokesman Wu Qian said that the two countries had normal security cooperation and that China like other countries was supporting Afghanistan in defense and counterterrorism. “The so-called issue that China is building a military base in Afghanistan is groundless,” Reuters quoted Wu as saying. The ministry has also previously dismissed reports that Chinese military vehicles were patrolling inside Afghanistan. Beijing has long been concerned that instability in Afghanistan could spill over into the violence-prone Xinjiang region in China’s far west, home to the Muslim Uighur people.