China is building its first overseas military outpost just miles from the largest U.S. military base in Africa.
The Chinese naval base in Djibouti is positioned on a 90-acre plot of land and expected to be completed next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. China’s construction of the base represents one of Beijing’s latest efforts to establish itself as a global maritime power.
The Chinese naval base is close to Camp Lemonnier, the U.S. base in Djibouti, which supports roughly 4,000 U.S. and allied military and civilian personnel and defense contractors. It is the primary base of operations for U.S. Africa Command.
The Journal reported:
The naval outpost is expected to feature weapons stores, ship and helicopter maintenance facilities and possibly a small contingent of Chinese marines or special forces, according to foreign officers and experts monitoring its development. Its cluster of low-rise concrete buildings and shipping containers, some with Chinese flags, offers the most tangible sign yet of China’s strategy to extend its military reach across the Indian Ocean and beyond. … While Chinese officials deny plans to build large U.S.-style bases and call the Djibouti outpost a “support facility,” they also talk openly about negotiating more overseas outposts where Chinese interests coalesce. … The Pentagon has predicted China will establish several more outposts in the next decade.
China has considerable investments in the region, mostly in oil and gas. China began investing in infrastructure in Djibouti in 2010 and confirmed in February that it had begun construction on the outpost. China has also supplied aircraft to Djibouti’s air force.
Full article: China Building First Overseas Military Outpost Near U.S. Base in Africa (Washington Free Beacon)