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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US needs new stealth fighter to combat China’s J-31: expert

China recently demonstrated its second fifth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31, for the 10th Zhuhai Airshow held in Guangdong from Nov. 11-16. Dave Majumdar, an American defense expert, thus suggests in Washington’s National Interest that the US must put the F-35 into service or develop new fighters to face this challenge. Continue reading