Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of AfriCom, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he expected the Chinese base on the Horn of Africa to be operational later this summer.
Without getting specific, Waldhauser said he recently met with Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh “and expressed our concerns about some of the things that are important to us about what the Chinese should not do at that location.”
The Chinese base would be about four miles from the U.S. base at Camp Lemonnier, one of the Pentagon’s largest and most important foreign military installations, where about 3,000 U.S. military personnel and contractors are assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Personnel at Camp Lemonnier have been involved in highly secretive missions, including targeted drone killings in the Mideast and the Horn of Africa, and in the Jan. 29 raid in Yemen in which Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was killed.
The Chinese military base will be part of a major Chinese port development project in Djibouti. The Chinese Merchants Group, a Hong Kong conglomerate, announced a $400 million investment in Djibouti last November to develop a free trade zone.
Full article: China’s First Overseas Military Base Nearing Completion (DefenseTech)