China sends troops to military base in Djibouti, widening reach across Indian Ocean

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army stand on a ship sailing off from a military port in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, on Monday. Photo: Reuters

 

Beijing says facility needed for anti-piracy operations but rivals expected to be alarmed

China has taken a decisive step ­towards establishing a maritime force that can reach across the ­Indian Ocean with its first ­deployment of troops to its ­military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

China has presented the ­facility as a support base to run anti-piracy operations in waters along Africa’s east coast as well as peacekeeping and ­humanitarian missions in the region.

But given it sits at the shipping choke point of the Gulf of Aden which opens to the Suez Canal and beyond, China’s ­regional neighbours including Japan, ­India and Vietnam were likely to view the deployment with alarm, mainland experts said.

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Turkey Sends 200 Cargo Planes to Qatar Amid Gulf States Diplomatic Row

© AP Photo/ Doha News

 

Turkey sent 200 cargo aircraft, loaded with goods worth more that $20 billion to Qatar, subjected to an economic blockade by the Gulf countries since early June due to its alleged terror support, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Tuesday.

“Turkey is not helping [Qatar], it exports the goods, which had been already paid for. We have possibly made ever largest operation on goods delivery by 200 planes,” Zeybekci told the local TRT television channel, adding that the supplied goods were worth over $20 billion.

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China’s maritime Strategic Realignment

A simplified view of the PLAN maritime lines of communication between its major naval bases in southern China and its newly established oversees bases. The major island bases in the South China Sea are omitted from this map, but should be considered in gaining an accurate picture of Chinese maritime defense posture.

 

Introduction

China has begun construction of the first Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the Shanghai based Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company. Construction most likely started in January or February of this year, with some satellite imagery and digital photos appearing online of at least one pre-fabricated hull cell. The Type 075 will be the largest amphibious warfare vessel in the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with similar displacement and dimensions as the U.S. Navy Wasp Class LHD. The PLA has also made it known through non-official channels that the force plans to expand the current PLA Marine Corps from 20,000 personnel to 100,000. As China completes preparations for its new military base in Djibouti, located in the strategic Horn of Africa, it has also continued its substantial investment in developing the port of Gwadar, Pakistan. Not only will Gwadar become a key logistics hub as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative, but will also be a key naval base in providing security for China’s maritime trade in the region. Continue reading

Pentagon says China has Big Military Expansion Plans, Including Base in Pakistan

A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.

The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion. Continue reading

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force takes part in an amphibious drill on May 13 during joint military exercises on Guam involving Japan, the U.S., France and Britain that were intended to show support for the free passage of vessels in international waters amid concerns China may restrict access to the South China Sea. | AP

 

Geography is determinate in military plans, a fact that planners understand at all levels, from tactical to strategic. While tailored combat elements may traverse difficult environments on land and at sea, heavily laden logistics craft that follow and enable them can rarely do the same. This is what pushes armies and fleets toward certain immutable routes, resulting in battles occurring at the same locations, over and over, throughout recorded history. Much as the ridge at Megiddo, better known as “Armageddon,” played witness to strife no less than 13 times since the 15th century B.C. because it stood astride the route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, key maritime straits such as the waters of the South China Sea and the Sunda and Malaccan Straits will provide the backdrop for future naval battles. Geography and geopolitics are intermeshed and unavoidable. Unfortunately for China, they sit upon the wrong side of the former and are rather poor at the latter. Western advantages in both must not be squandered. Continue reading

China Plans Massive Increase to Marine Corps to Pursue Global Ambitions

Delegates from Chinese People’s Liberation Army / AP

 

China is preparing a five-fold surge to the size of its Marine Corps as Beijing moves to further exert its influence abroad.

The plan would increase the number of Marine Corps personnel from about 20,000 to 100,000 people, the South China Morning Post reported Monday, citing military insiders and experts. The move will be accompanied by cuts to the Chinese military’s land forces in an attempt to modernize the People’s Liberation Army. Continue reading

China’s First Overseas Military Base Nearing Completion

Chinese military officers bid farewell to members of a Chinese medical contingent as it leaves for West Africa to help in the fight against Ebola from the airport in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. China’s first overseas military base should be ready this summer close by the operations hub of U.S. Africa Command in Djibouti. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

 

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.” Continue reading

China flexing its military muscle

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A Chinese WZ-10 military helicopter is seen before the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, October 25, 2016. Photo: REUTERS

 

The Chinese military is developing ships, submarines, aircraft, intelligence systems and foreign bases in a bid to be a global military power: report

China’s military is developing ships, submarines, aircraft, intelligence systems and foreign bases in a bid to become a global military power, according to a forthcoming congressional China commission report.

The late draft of the annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission contains a chapter on Beijing’s power projection development and warns that once fully developed, the weapons and forces could contribute to a regional conflict in places like the South China and East China seas. Continue reading

Chinese-built railway links landlocked Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, to the sea

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A test is carried out on the Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway near Addis Ababa this week. Photo: Xinhua

 

Deal brings reliable transport to Addis Ababa and access to market of 95 million people to tiny but strategic port of Djibouti

With Chinese conductors at the helm, a fleet of shiny new trains on Wednesday began plying a new route from the Ethiopian capital to neighbouring Djibouti, in a major boost to both economies.

The 750km railway, built by two Chinese companies, will link Addis Ababa to Djibouti, a strategic port enclave on the Red Sea, in about 10 hours, a far cry from the current excruciating multi-day trip along a congested, potholed road.

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China Building First Overseas Military Outpost Near U.S. Base in Africa

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 JournalChina’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. Continue reading

Iran’s War of Terror in Africa

And how will this whirlwind prophecy be done? Likely through a European Army created by the German-led United States of Europe, if it isn’t NATO.

 

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Iranian soldiers (CHAVOSH HOMAVANDI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The Islamic Republic’s terrorist reach extends well beyond the Middle East.

Even to the casual observer, Iranian meddling in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Yemen, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern nations is abundantly evident.

Iran is fighting both directly and indirectly against rebel forces in Iraq and Syria. It has tremendous clout in Lebanon via its Hezbollah proxy, and its determination to “wipe Israel off the map” is widely known. Recently, an Iranian general declared that his nation “must make efforts to bring Bahrain back into Iranian territory and transform it into a part of [its southwestern province of Bushehr].” And in the past four months, three Iranian shipments of weapons have been intercepted in the Middle East. The most recent of those arms shipments was intended for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What’s less apparent, however, is Iranian meddling in Africa. Continue reading

Chinese Naval Base in Djibouti Poses Problem for U.S.

The guard is changing, as the West was prophesied to lose the strategic gateways of the world.

On Monday April 18, 2016, China officially broke ground on its first naval base in Djibouti, Africa, a country which has also been the home of the United States (U.S.) African intelligence-gathering base for the past 15 years.  The Chinese base will be encroaching upon a major U.S. military installation with 4,000 troops and has the largest drone installation base outside of Afghanistan.

Djibouti may be a proving ground for China’s foreign policy as the nation looks to further expand its influence in Africa. China has participated in anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia since 2008 and increased those missions in 2010. Chinese President Jinping donated $100 million to the African Union (AU) and said it was to help build a standby force as well as an emergency response and quick response force.

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China launches charm offensive for first overseas naval base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing’s contribution to regional security and development.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style “hegemony” by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China’s aims. Continue reading

China starts work on Horn of Africa military base in Djibouti, defence ministry confirms

In the military, logistics is a key component of being able to project power. You cannot forward supplies and manpower without it. Even if it’s ‘logistics’, it’s the first step towards China’s militarization of the African continent, regardless of what the PLA says. It’s insane that knowledgeable people would fall for such simple wordplay disinformation. What’s more is that this is more proof that the United States (along with Britain) is losing the strategic gateways to the world, as Biblically prophesied.

 

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A People’s Liberation Army Navy soldier stands guard as Chinese citizens board a Chinese naval ship at a port in Aden last year. Photo: Reuters

 

 

Facilities reflect the PLA’s ambition to expand its international presence and influence, analysts say

China’s first overseas naval base – which is under construction in Djibouti – will be concerned chiefly with logistical tasks rather than projecting power, at least for now, mainland analysts say.

The defence ministry on Thursday confirmed construction of the base’s infrastructure and facilities had begun. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia forms anti-terror military alliance

If it’s not limited to ISIS, then this could also be perceived as a hedge against Iran and possibly a new bloc opposed to Israel.

 

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said. Continue reading