Now Reading
China May Be Planning to Establish a Second Military Base in Africa: Report

China May Be Planning to Establish a Second Military Base in Africa: Report

As the world watches the United States struggle to maintain its military presence in Niger, there is growing concern that China may be planning to establish a second military base in Africa. The speculation surrounding China’s plans comes at a time when African leaders are bluntly articulating and asserting their demands from bilateral partners and multilateral institutions.

According to a report by Chatham House, every Chinese foreign minister’s first overseas trip of the year has been to Africa. The report notes that the tradition continued this year with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, visiting Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. This tour has fuelled discussions about China’s next military installation in Africa, despite none of these nations being previously considered as potential sites.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi

Since 2012, China has been a significant player in Africa, primarily through extensive infrastructure projects, investments and diplomatic engagement. Known for its strategic patience and long-term planning, China adopted a different approach to aid from that of its Western counterparts by referring to recipients as ‘partners’ and using terms like ‘development assistance’ to avoid the traditional donor–recipient binary.

In 2017, China marked its military footprint in Africa after it opened a base in Djibouti, aiming to combat piracy operations and ensure freedom of navigation. According to the report, this base has over the years matured from a ‘resupply facility’ to a logistics facility, supported by up to two brigades of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

China and Djibouti have agreed to form a ‘strategic partnership’

The report adds that the Houthi militants’ current attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and a renewed attack by pirates on shipping in the waters off Somalia are proof that the strategic value of Djibouti and ensuring adjacent sea lines of communication such as the Bab al Mandab Strait remain navigable.

Houthi militants collect parts of a drone aircraft that Houthi rebels said they downed in Sanaa, Yemen, October 1, 2017.

The report further explained that the balance between advancing security interests and respecting Africa’s sovereignty and development goals will likely define the future of China’s military presence on the continent. However, with the continent becoming an increasingly multipolar environment, China’s engagements in Africa, as evidenced by Wang Yi’s recent visits, may be more about signalling a continued commitment to the continent rather than concrete military expansion.

Business Insider


See Also


Scroll To Top

We have detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or other adblocking software which is causing you to not be able to view 360 Mozambique in its entirety.

Please add to your adblocker’s whitelist or disable it by refreshing afterwards so you can view the site.