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Wed Sep 8, 2021, 06:16 AM

China Weighing Occupation of Former U.S. Air Base at Bagram: Sources

Source: USNews

China is considering deploying military personnel and economic development officials to Bagram airfield, perhaps the single-most prominent symbol of the 20-year U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

The Chinese military is currently conducting a feasibility study about the effect of sending workers, soldiers and other staff related to its foreign economic investment program known as the Belt and Road Initiative in the coming years to Bagram, according to a source briefed on the study by Chinese military officials, who spoke to U.S. News on the condition of anonymity.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a carefully crafted denial of plans for an imminent takeover of the military airfield roughly an hour from Kabul, first established by the Soviets during their own occupation in Afghanistan and which at the height of the U.S. military presence there was its busiest in the world.

Read more: https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2021-09-07/china-weighing-occupation-of-former-us-air-base-at-bagram-sources



Of course, the Chinese deny it.

53 replies, 3517 views

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Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply China Weighing Occupation of Former U.S. Air Base at Bagram: Sources (Original post)
oldsoftie Sep 2021 OP
Walleye Sep 2021 #1
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #4
Walleye Sep 2021 #6
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #8
Walleye Sep 2021 #17
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #20
relayerbob Sep 2021 #31
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #33
relayerbob Sep 2021 #38
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #41
relayerbob Sep 2021 #42
relayerbob Sep 2021 #44
McKim Sep 2021 #18
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #21
relayerbob Sep 2021 #39
TomWilm Sep 2021 #22
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #23
relayerbob Sep 2021 #32
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #40
TomWilm Sep 2021 #53
SmittyWerben Sep 2021 #25
Mad_Mongol Sep 2021 #46
Walleye Sep 2021 #47
Lonestarblue Sep 2021 #2
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #3
ashredux Sep 2021 #11
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #13
ashredux Sep 2021 #16
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #24
ashredux Sep 2021 #26
Tommymac Sep 2021 #28
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #37
Sapient Donkey Sep 2021 #45
littlemissmartypants Sep 2021 #48
Sapient Donkey Sep 2021 #51
oldsoftie Sep 2021 #7
Lonestarblue Sep 2021 #9
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #34
littlemissmartypants Sep 2021 #49
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #50
lonely bird Sep 2021 #27
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #36
Shanti Shanti Shanti Sep 2021 #5
ashredux Sep 2021 #10
turbinetree Sep 2021 #12
lonely bird Sep 2021 #29
Irish_Dem Sep 2021 #35
lark Sep 2021 #14
Phil the Kilibuster Sep 2021 #15
Paladin Sep 2021 #19
Devil Child Sep 2021 #30
Sapient Donkey Sep 2021 #43
Martin68 Sep 2021 #52

Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 06:23 AM

1. After three empires have died off there. China is going to give it a try

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Response to Walleye (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:23 AM

4. China is going to be much smarter. Not start a full scale war on the populace.

It will be transactional. China and the Taliban will both benefit.

China has been occupying parts of Africa for decades now.
And they do a good job.

Building a country's infrastructure, winning hearts and mind.

Quietly becoming part of the woodwork.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:27 AM

6. I do feel pretty sure they will handle it better than we did

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Response to Walleye (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:38 AM

8. They will handle it much much better than anyone else.

People here on DU keep poo pooing what I am saying about China.

But make no mistake, China is going to be a superpower and they are going to earn it every step of the way.

Too bad they are a ruthless autocratic system.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 08:32 AM

17. I can't say I disagree. Human rights will take a big hit

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Response to Walleye (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 09:41 AM

20. Yes the Taliban and China will agree not to interfere with each other's internal affairs.

But I really don't think the US has a lot to say on the matter.

The entire world sees how we treat people of color in our own country.
Our love of dropping bombs on brown people overseas.
Our rendition and torture of brown people, well known not to give any valuable intelligence.
We do it because we like to and can.

Or how about the recent forced sterilization of immigrants on the US border.

And now with the covid pandemic, the US stood by doing nothing and let Americans die.
Actually we are still doing it. US governors doing everything they can to increase the death rates.

The US is not seen as a country which values human life.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:48 AM

31. China already is a super power

They have replaced the US as the largest trade partner for the most nations, have a very capable military, and an economy that is comparable to ours, if managed very differently. The only thing They aren’t able to compete in is decades of experience invading foreign nations.

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #31)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:59 AM

33. They are not quite there yet and they know it.

To be a superpower they must demonstrate that they have control over their own region.

So getting control of Afghanistan is very important to them.

They must also be successful with their Belt and Road initiative, so Afghanistan is crucial there as well.

I think their decades of not invading other countries is an advantage to them. They are not going to follow bad habits and will be able to think outside the box. Invasion is going to be transactional, a benefit to both sides. Also, China has no wish to conquer other countries. They have enough trouble feeding their own people.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #33)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:14 AM

38. That actually isn't part of the definition of superpower

I agree they need their Belt and Road initiaive, but that's going quite well. Afghanistan would be a feather in their cap, and a big help, but is not really a requirement for its success. It has been developed without Afghanistan. And they certainly understand that absorbing smaller nations into their economic sphere is much more sustainable than invasion

https://www.britannica.com/topic/superpower

or more succinctly, per Wikipedia: "A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of economic, military, technological, political and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence."

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Response to relayerbob (Reply #38)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:17 AM

41. A superpower must have regional control, that is what exerting influence by your definition means.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #41)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:31 AM

42. Nope

The definition is based on global impact. What you are defining is hegemony, "Because there can be more than one superpower, this concept must be distinguished from that of “hegemon,” which designates the dominance of one state over all others, in one region or in the world at large (regional hegemon, global hegemon)."

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #41)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:33 AM

44. In any case, we are mostly debating semantics

Overall, I agree with your comments and conclusions

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 09:04 AM

18. That's right!!!

That's right! While we stupidly wage wars and waste our money on war material they build good things abroad. I saw all the roads and schools they built in Uganda while we created a marine base up at Lake Albert to keep an eye on the newly discovered oil reserves there. The Chinese are an example for us to follow. Why all the phony war talk and hostility being ramped up? We could just learn from them and follow their example. Why do we always have to have an enemy?

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Response to McKim (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 09:43 AM

21. China has been quietly colonizing Africa for decades. Quite successfully.

Yes it is all transactional. China gets what it wants, so does the host country.
And no loss of life, no terrorizing the locals. And China gets rich doing it.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:14 AM

39. Agreed

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 09:56 AM

22. China has only four bases, while The United States have many hundreds military bases ...

... but according to you secretly China has been occupying parts of Africa for decades?!?

Maybe if United States also could learn building infrastructure for other countries. Well, that is a big IF - since it is not even possible to do this back home.

I anyway hope Biden will fulfill the old banner Yankees go home. When China is getting hundreds of bases as well, I will start to protest these also. Until then I will just continue to protest their lack of human rights...



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Response to TomWilm (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:04 AM

23. Yes the Chinese military has been in Africa for a long time now.

Google it.

They have been building infrastructure, winning hearts and minds.
It is a soft colonization of African countries.
If you travel to China you will meet many people with loved ones stationed in Africa.

The Chinese are smarter than we are. They don't need to waste trillions, they are transactional.
They come out of a military situation richer than when they went in.

And yes, this is all foreign to the US, because the US doesn't believe in providing infrastructure to its own country.
And the US government doesn't seem interested in winning the hearts and minds of its own citizens.

We ignore what China is doing at our own peril.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:49 AM

32. 100% true

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:15 AM

40. China to give a master lesson: how to take over a country without bombing it back to the Stone Age.

Something the west has not yet learned how to do.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 04:17 PM

53. So NO "Chinese occupation" then. Thanks for your correction.

... that would also have been very fruitless to google.

Other stuff about soft colonization is easier to find, also because I remember when it happened - the cultural invasion controlled by CIA. I think China learned a lot from that one.

But no help building infrastructure in Europe then, though United States did that very well just that after WW2. But then all abilities for "nation building was diminished or directly cancelled...




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Response to Walleye (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:12 AM

25. China shares a border with Afghanistan

and therefor has a much less expensive supply chain. Further, they will exploit the shit out of the minerals in Afghanistan and the Taliban will suck up that cash and infrastucture.

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Response to Walleye (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 12:01 PM

46. China gave it a try back around 500 AD

The Westward expansion of T'ang China peaked with the Central Asian protectorates (what is now Afghanistan & Uzbekistan) They occupied the area for almost 2 centuries. The battle of Talas ended the T'ang expansion.

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Response to Mad_Mongol (Reply #46)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 01:15 PM

47. Interesting history, thanks

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:03 AM

2. China wants access to Afghanistan's natural resources.

Afghanistan has some rare earths needed for electronics. The US badly bungled not helping Afghans get the infrastructure built for mining these products with an instant market and gaining some future control through partnerships with US businesses. Instead, we built things like a $43 million gas station that can’t be used—too many private contractors, too little oversight. We need to recognize that business development and nation building are not the military’s forte.

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:19 AM

3. China also needs a stable Afghanistan for its Belt and Road initiative.

And must have a stable region to prove it can be a superpower.

There is a lot a stake for China.

It will most likely succeed.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:52 AM

11. History is not on that side

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Response to ashredux (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:57 AM

13. China is using a different strategy from the West, so cannot be compared to them.

China will make history because it is going to operate in a different way.

Most likely will be successful. Too bad it is such a ruthless autocracy.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 08:18 AM

16. Everyone has a "different strategy". Again none have been successful for centuries

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Response to ashredux (Reply #16)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:06 AM

24. We ignore China at our own peril.

I am not a betting person, but I will put money on China winning over the Taliban.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #24)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:14 AM

26. Didn't say ignore them at all...but they will fail as all others have

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:20 AM

28. The Taliban will have something to say about this...Afghans' have fought the Chinese for centuries

The Chinese are NOT Supermen and Women.

They have a large class of people who dissent inside their borders, and that powder keg of Human Rights Violations is going to blow up in their smug authoritarian faces sooner rather then later.

I have zero admiration for the Chinese system. It is an anachronism, and will face the knives of history soon enough.

21st Century Chinese Imperialism will go the same way 18th and 19th Century imperialism went. There are just too many sane people in the World today.


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Response to Tommymac (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:10 AM

37. The new China is much different from the old China.

We ignore it at our own peril.

It is headed for superpower status as we speak.

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Response to Tommymac (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:50 AM

45. China has capitalism on its side

China on its own a force to be reckoned with, but it has a strong ally called capitalism. Not only can it use capitalism as a stick to beat the west, but it can also use it as a shield. China is a giant market that makes countries and corporations less likely to go against it out of fear of losing access to the Chinese markets. The writing is on the wall for what a Chinese dominated world will look like. Even if it's not total domination, they will have a lot of influence over how the future world will look. Our western liberal democracies have many flaws, but they are a hell of a lot better than what China has planned. It's my impression that they take the worst aspects of the US and amplify it 100x over.

Let's take the Xinjiang camps as example. They are horrible even if we buy into the Chinese propaganda about how they are all smiling and happy to be put into these reeducation camps. In modern day western liberal democracies, how would it be viewed if we did the exact same thing? If we built large camps to put a certain ethic minority into so that we could reeducate them to be more "American" (which would actually be more 'white' if we consider the goal is to make them more culturally Han in China) Wouldn't fly even if we use the most charitable description used in Chinese propaganda. Sure, we have messed up policies on our borders, but compared to China its pretty mild. Also, we can actually discuss and criticize our governments/politicians in order to effect change. Try doing that in China. You think NSA spying was bad, aye?

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Response to Sapient Donkey (Reply #45)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 02:16 PM

48. Well, we've already done it and it didn't work out so well for either the Indigenous or the African

American parts of our society so there's that. . .

...we built large camps to put a certain ethic minority into so that we could reeducate them to be more "American" ...

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #48)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 03:36 PM

51. And anything of that nature is rightfully criticized.

But imagine today if the US or Canada or some other western country did the exact same thing that China is doing today. It would rightfully be called out and demands for changes will be made. I'm confused by people who are right side of justice when it comes to the US/west's actions, but seem to totally forget everything they stand for when it comes to China. The fact that a large number people who usually stand for justice when it comes to the west are silent or supportive when it comes to China performing similar or worse acts is concerning. Who will be the counter balance when/if China becomes the dominate power and the Chinese perspective and values take the place of western liberalism?

Would the sort of protests and discussions we have in the US be allowed in China? Would the people be able to push for changes? I like to ask people who live in China and view China in a similar way to the "rah rah 'merica is never wrong" view the US to tell me some negative aspects of the CCP and/or politicians, and what they think should be done differently. Rarely get any takers on that.

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:30 AM

7. Yes. Now we'll be even more enslaved to China's "stuff"

95% of antibiotics come from China. How is that safe for us? That is a national security problem IMO.
They already control most of the "rare earth" minerals required for many of the things needed to reduce carbon emissions; how much is THAT going to cost us?
The govt needs to do SOMETHING to get us OUT of China as much as possible. They are not our friends. And they have a plan to take over the world.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:39 AM

9. And unfortunately US companies shared so much innovative technology with them

over the years just to have access to the Chinese market that China now has technological superiority in some areas. The US developed solar panels, yet it is mostly China that manufactures them now. And it is China, working with our so-called friend Israel who took their technology to China, working on increasing the storage capacity of batteries.

In chasing ever-greaterbprofits, US companies have given away a lot of their innovation and competitiveness of the US. We are a much weaker nation today as a result. We are not weaker militarily, but we are in the global race for dominance.

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:02 AM

34. What we did not give them, China stole. So yes they have it all.

China wants to be the sole global superpower and they have a good chance to make their goal.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #34)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 02:17 PM

49. Excellent point. And they are still stealing. nt

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #49)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 02:58 PM

50. Of course they are still stealing secrets and other underhanded tricks.

Like Russa.

War is being waged against us, not via the military.

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Response to Lonestarblue (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:17 AM

27. Political economy plus the long view is China's game

China has the largest reserves and is the largest producer of rare earths. Afghanistan would simply be another piece in the puzzle. China was once the world’s largest economy. If it isn’t yet, it will be soon.

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Response to lonely bird (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:09 AM

36. Predicted year is 2028. China will be largest world economy.

Because of Covid it was moved forward. Previous date was 2032.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:23 AM

5. Just like I predicted! Massive airbase, move in ready, they control the airspace over vast region.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:51 AM

10. Hubris...they will fail as have all others

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 07:56 AM

12. Chinese want to extract the minerals and looks like the Taliban are just fucking communists...

and what's really hypocritical is what the Chinese do to Muslims in their country....what am I missing here...

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Response to turbinetree (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:22 AM

29. There are Muslims and there are heretics.

Depending upon the particular belief structure some Muslims consider those who do not believe as they do to be heretical. We know of Shi’a and Sunni of course.

As for Communism? There has never been an actual communist country. The end game of communism is the withering away of the state. There are only totalitarian/authoritarian states that claim to be communist.

Imo, communism cannot exist.

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Response to turbinetree (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:07 AM

35. Both the Taliban and the Chinese will look the other way in terms of internal affairs.

And they will make mutually beneficial agreements.
It will be totally transactional. Not political.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 08:00 AM

14. If they do this, they are proving they are the same as Russia, US, & Britain - all failed there.

I thought they would be smarter than this, but guess greed has no boundaries.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 08:02 AM

15. Awwww, how cute is that?

 

Putin's Orange Puppet makes a deal with the thugs, not the government, and Biden inexplicably follows through.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 09:39 AM

19. Have a nice time, China. (nt)

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 10:35 AM

30. Countless tax dollars spent over numerous administrations to enrich and assist our global enemy

 

Mission accomplished?

Eternal respect to Biden for ending this madness.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 11:33 AM

43. I know it was expected China would move in to make some deals, but I didn't see anyone predict

a move such as occupying the military airbase. I wonder how that will play out over time. While China has been practicing its economic imperialism in Africa for awhile, I am curious to see if the same model that worked in Africa will work in Afghanistan. The situations are a bit different. The Taliban is still facing pockets of resistance (particularly up north) and who knows how much control the Taliban leadership has over all of its forces. Then there is ISIS-K (or whatever) too. Seems like a difficult environment for China to do much in terms of economic development. And even if successful to an extent, how long until they are viewed as the great satan by jihadis around the world? I have no doubt China will learn from our mistakes in many areas, but going in there at all might be ignoring the biggest lesson to be learned.

Also, I find it fascinating how China's economic imperialism in Africa and now perhaps Afghanistan is looked upon with such rose colored glasses. As if Chinese imperialism is "done right". So, it's cool. China gets a pass on building mines and what not that ship the majority of the resources from their tributary states back to China. But when the western countries did/do the same it is met with opposition by the same folks who feel it's different when China does it.

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Response to oldsoftie (Original post)

Wed Sep 8, 2021, 03:54 PM

52. This article is short on facts, and long on speculation. I'd suggest the Chinese will offer to

put the base back into working order, and offer military training to the Taliban. Perhaps some help with restoring and maintaining US jets and other military equipment that Afghanis do not have the skills to undertake. That might get the Chinese a toe hold, but Afghanis don't want ANY foreign power to have influence in the country. They might take assistance, but you can bet they will be watching the Chinese carefully, and at the first sign they are overstepping, the Chinese will be informed that they have overstayed their welcome. They've kicked the ass of Russia and the US. They are not afraid of China, but they will be wary.

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