China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti

  • China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti

China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti

New Delhi considers the Indian ocean as its sphere of influence, referring to anti-piracy patrolling and the freedom of navigation, and a negative attitude towards the revitalization of China in its waters.

Chinese state media reported late on July 11 that warships departed from Zhanjiang in southern China to set up a "support base" in the Horn of Africa nation. "The completion and operation of the base will help China better fulfill its worldwide obligations in conducting escorting missions and humanitarian assistance ..."

It went on to state that the base will also assist with overseas tasks including military cooperation and joint exercises, as well as jointly maintaining security of global strategic waterways.

China signed an initial 10-year lease for the base and will pay $20 million per year in rent.

In November, Yang Yujun, another spokesman for the ministry, said China plans to use the base to better implement its global obligations and to protect the nation's overseas interests but not to seek "military expansion".

But it's not the presence of US, Japan or France' involvement in Djibouti that's raising eyebrows.

"We will base troops there", it said.

China has made a substantial investment in Djibouti. The Camp Lemonier hosts more than 4,000 military members.

However, Chinese officials have downplayed the importance of the Djibouti base.

The People's Liberation Army Daily said in a front-page commentary that the facility was a landmark that would increase China's ability to ensure global peace, especially because it had so many United Nations peacekeepers in Africa and was so involved in anti-piracy patrols.

China is expanding its presence in East Africa with the addition of military personnel at its base in Djibouti.

Threat to US Camp Lemonnier?

Such interpretations or concerns about the base are completely unfounded. If the United States wants to intervene against China's interests, they will have to think carefully, because China will use their military to protect their citizens and their property.

In November 2015, the Chinese military confirmed for the first time its interest in having a "support facility" in Djibouti. Djibouti is considered as a stable country in an unstable region. Chinese ships headed for the new base on Tuesday. He also said that it is an effort to help bring peace and security to the region.

Should India be wary of the Chinese base? Beijing is also building ports and other infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Much to the disquiet of India, this makes a part of their plan to firm up its naval operations in the Indian Ocean.

Placed at the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean, the naval base represents the "first pearl of a necklace". Djibouti is the largest permanent USA military base, camp Lemonnier, which is based on more than four thousand people, as well as a base of France and Japan.

China dispatched a fleet of ships with the direction of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

"So we see a number of uncharacteristic moves by China in the last few years - first, dispatching a battalion of peacekeepers to a conflict in South Sudan".

It added that China will under no circumstances be seeking military expansionism or become involve in arms races.