China to construct Tajik outposts along Afghan border
In a decree published on Monday, the Tajik government instructed the State National Security Committee to sign an agreement with China on construction of eleven outposts of different sizes and a training center for border guards, according to Reuters news agency.
The Central Asian nation's 1,345-km border with its southern neighbor is leaky and Dushanbe routinely reported clashes between border guards and armed drug smugglers there.
The increased activity of Afghan Taliban in northern Kunduz province is another source of concern.
A large part of the main highway connecting Tajikistan's most populous regions to China lies along the same border and armed trespassers this year kidnapped several Tajiks doing maintenance works on that road.
China, which according to official statistics sold goods worth $2.5 billion a year to Tajikistan has already built one outpost on the Tajik-Afghan border, its first one, earlier this year.
Russia used to station its own border guards on the frontier until 2005, and after that kept a regiment in the Tajik city of Kulyab, 42 km (25 miles) from the Afghan border. But Moscow pulled the regiment out in December last year and moved it to the capital, Dushanbe, about 200 km further away.
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