China Sets Up Military Base in Djibouti

  • China Sets Up Military Base in Djibouti

China Sets Up Military Base in Djibouti

"Firstly, it is indeed the People's Liberation Army's first overseas base; China will station troops there, and it is not a commercial resupply point", the paper writes.

The base will support China's military operations in Africa and Asia as part of its global humanitarian missions, escorting ships to avoid piracy and peacekeeping, the Army said.

About 46,35,000 military personnel are now serving in the Chinese military, and 34,68,000 are a part of the Indian military.

State news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday the ships had departed from Zhanjiang in southern China "to set up a support base in Djibouti".

China officially describes Djibouti, its first overseas naval base, as a logistics facility. China has been actively participating in anti-piracy measures in the region, with a reported 16,000 sailors and 1,300 marines serving in the Gulf of Aden between 2008 and 2015. In fact, it has been Djibouti's lone long-term strategic partner.

Specifically, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that means supporting anti-piracy efforts in the region, performing "humanitarian rescue" and helping to "drive Djibouti's economic and social development". Djibouti's position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worries in India that it would become another of China's "string of pearls" of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The People's Daily cites an article published by the PLA announcing that "the old military structure, where the army accounts for the vast majority, will be replaced after the reform".

In any case, China's military advancement was tied in with ensuring its own particular security, it said.

Elsewhere in Djibouti, the United States military operates the Chabelley Airfield, from which the Pentagon stages drone airstrikes, likely into Somalia and across the Bab el-Mandeb Strait into Yemen, according to the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in NY. It makes sense there is attention on this from foreign public opinion, ” the editorial states.

In April, US Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Djibouti, which houses Camp Lemonnier, the largest known US military base in the African continent. China reportedly began construction past year.