Beijing is preparing to transfer 5,000 Chinese troops to Iran to guard its $400bn investment in the country over the next 25 years. Military engineers are prospecting sites for their bases. This deployment was covered in the investment-cum-strategic accord signed in Tehran on March 27 by visiting Chinese FM Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif.
Gulf and the Western intelligence sources report that this substantial Chinese military presence in Iran, the first in the Gulf region, will mark out the formation of a strategic axis linking China, Iran and Pakistan, two of which are nuclear powers. It will add another section to the the CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] project underway in Pakistan, as part of Beijing’s $8 trillion Border and Road Initiative (BRI) projects for spanning Asia and Europe. The CPEC is to provide a safe passage and a shorter route for Iranian oil, gas and petrochemicals, sold at cut-rate prices, to reach China.
The 5,000 Chinese troops to be posted in Iran, DEBKAfile sources reveal, will join the rarely noticed presence of 10,000 Chinese military personnel in the east African port of Djibouti,, so topping up Beijing’s military strength athwart more than one sensitive corner of the Middle East to 15,000 troops…
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