The Chinese regime is asking for either special port access or basing rights in Djibouti, which U.S. and French special operations forces use as a key base for launching anti-terror operations.
An unnamed senior allied official told the website Breaking Defense that, as it states, “China is seriously pursuing a favored position in Djibouti.” It notes that the official’s request to remain anonymous makes it clear “just how sensitive this issue is right now.”
The news was released by Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who the report says told Agence France-Presse they were discussing “a new military base” with China.
“France’s presence is old, and the Americans found that the position of Djibouti could help in the fight against terrorism in the region,” Guelleh said. “The Japanese want to protect themselves from piracy, and now the Chinese also want to protect their interests, and they are welcome.”
Chinese forces are already near Djibouti. After the Chinese regime sent navy frigate to Yemen in early April to help evacuate refugees, it decided to leave the warships in North Africa.
It sent the ships to the Gulf of Aden. The news was released by Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, on April 5, who said the warships would “keep pirates away from one of the most important water courses in the world.”
However, the move also positioned Chinese warships near the key U.S. military outposts in Djibouti. The area is a major shipping chokepoint that connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, and is on the channel that separates Yemen from Somalia.
The developments appear to be part of a larger push by the Chinese regime to build military bases in key locations around the world.
The Chinese regime allegedly wants 18 overseas bases in countries including North Korea, Thailand, and Namibia. The network of bases would extend the Chinese regime’s naval reach globally.
The proposed base in Namibia is at Walvis Bay, which was once a key port for the U.K. Royal Army. During World War I and World War II, its strategic importance for the South Atlantic made the base the focus of several conflicts.