BEIJING: China will train Afghan troops on Chinese soil, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Beijing said, describing the military cooperation as an effort to fight al Qaeda and Islamic State militants bent on attacking China from its western neighbor.
Afghanistan has also requested that China provide Afghan security forces with combat helicopters, Ambassador Janan Mosazai told Reuters in an interview.
Beijing last month dismissed reports that Chinese troops would be stationed in its war-torn neighbor, after it agreed to help Afghanistan set up a “mountain brigade” in the rugged Wakhan Corridor linking the two countries.
“But yes, there will be some training required, obviously, and that will take place in China,” Mosazai said in the interview on Tuesday.
The Chinese military had promised to supply two fixed-wing transport aircraft for medical evacuation purposes, he added, and crews for the planes were already training in China.
“Those are in the pipeline, and we hope they will be delivered to Afghanistan, to our national security and defense forces, soon,” Mosazai said. “We have requested that they provide combat vehicles, combat helicopters, also air capabilities and reconnaissance.”
Mosazai said China’s response towards the request for the helicopters had been “positive”, and that Kabul wanted Beijing to provide the capabilities or the “grant assistance” so Afghanistan could purchase them.
China’s Defence Ministry did not respond immediately to a request for comment.