China opens first overseas military base
14 July, 2017
China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country's first overseas military base, news wires reported. Two navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang in southern China last Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean.
China said the establishment of a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) support base in Djibouti is a decision made by the two countries and will be conducive to China's performance of international obligations. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang recalled that in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, China has deployed vessels to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast on escort missions since 2008. Geng said the support base in Djibouti will better serve Chinese troops when they escort ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, perform humanitarian rescue, and carry out other international obligations.
Djibouti is already home to the centre of American operations in Africa, Camp Lemonnier, while France, Britain, Japan and other nations also maintain a military presence in the small but strategically located nation.