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.