China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti
Beijing, Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, came from China to begin installation of facilities while China is rapidly modernizing its military forces.
Djibouti’s position in the extreme northwest of the Indian Ocean has fueled concern in India that it would become another “pearl necklace” of active military coalitions and in India, such as Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
China began building a logistics base in Djibouti strategically located last year that will replenish the navy’s ships involved in maintaining peacekeeping operations and humanitarian missions off the coast of Yemen and Somalia in particular.
This is the first overseas naval base in China, although Beijing has officially explained as a logistics center.
State-owned Xinhua news agency said in a brief statement late Tuesday that boats had stopped in Zhanjiang, southern China “to establish a base of support in Djibouti.”
Navy commander Shen Jinlong “read an order on the construction of the base in Djibouti”, but the report does not indicate when the base could officially begin its operations.
Xinhua said the establishment of the base was a decision made by the two countries after “friendly negotiations and corresponding to the common interests of people on both sides.”
“The base will provide a performance mission in China, such as escort, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and Western Asia,” he said.
“The base will also serve for overseas tasks, including military cooperation, joint exercises, evacuation and protection of Chinese rescues and emergencies, as well as maintenance of common international strategic fluvial waterway,” Xinhua said.
Said the People’s Liberation Army daily in a commentary on the front page that it was a historic movement that would increase China’s ability to secure world peace, especially since it has so many UN peacekeeping forces in Africa and is so involved in Anti-piracy patrols.
China does not seek military expansionism or give in to the arms race, no matter what happened, he said.
“These promises will not change due to the construction of the logistics base abroad,” he said.
Global Times said in an editorial Wednesday that there could be no mistake that there was indeed a military base.
“Without a doubt, this is the first base on the outside of the People’s Liberation Army and we are going to base the troops there. This is not a commercial order point.
It is logical that there is no attention on the part of foreign public opinion, “according to the newspaper, published by the official newspaper People’s Daily.
However, China’s military development to protect its own security, he said. “It’s not trying to control the world.”
Djibouti, about the size of Wales, is located at the southern entrance of the Red Sea on the way to the Suez Canal.
The small barren nation between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia also hosts US, Japanese and French bases.
There has been persistent speculation in diplomatic circles that China could build more bases, for example, in Pakistan, but the government refused.