In a sign of Peking’s growing influence, the communist country has sent ships carrying military personnel to its first base in Djibouti, Africa, in order to rapidly expand its military reach.
China has already begun building a logistics base in Djibouti last year, they said, aiming to replenish warships working for humanitarian and peacekeeping off the coast of Somalia and Yemen.
This is the first naval base in China and abroad, although Beijing simply describes it as a “logistics center”.
However, China’s incursion into Djibouti is not the first. The United States, France, Japan and Italy have small military installations.
But the story of a small country with almost all natural resources, high unemployment rates and large areas of semi-arid desert does not explain why the world’s military powers are water for Horn Africa.
There is a very valuable asset that Djibouti is of particular concern to global military power: it is the location.
Djibouti has largely resisted the storm in a otherwise volatile region, marked by internal and external conflicts, and is considered by many countries as a model of stability.
Located on the Bab El Mandeb entrance strait to one of the world’s most important trade routes, the Suez Canal, Djibouti is a key port for its landlocked neighbor Ethiopia.
An issue is needed since the railroad between its capital has ended. China-led infrastructure projects, including the construction of airports and airports, are presented here as in the rest of Africa.
The proximity to Djibouti with nerve regions in the Middle East and Africa makes the strategic importance for military superpowers established their bases here.
For example, in the southeast, Somalia continues to witness an agitation global ramifications with pirates and Islamic militants from Al Shabab, which constitute a serious threat to the tense region.
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, which is less than 20 miles to the northeast in the Strait of Bab-el Mandeb, offers a fairly easy transition in the Middle East without the need that base.
These crises have justified the need to establish military bases near and justified international intervention.
The United States Army has its largest permanent base in Djibouti called Camp Lemonnier, home to at least 4,000 troops.
In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry’s call here on a recent trip to Africa focuses on the growing importance of Djibouti despite the presence of other eminent powers on the continent.
But this is not the presence of the United States, Japan or France commitment in Djibouti raises eyebrows. It is the advent of the dragon’s military ambitions in the area that is of particular importance.
According to a BBC report, a member of Congress of the United States had protested before the visit of Kerry Africa that the strategic interests of the United States in Djibouti could be threatened to the presence of China, here.
The report also suggests a more disturbing fact: China’s northern base in the Obock region could eclipse smaller US bases here.