China Builds First African Military Installation, Wants To Be A Maritime Power
Posted: Aug 21, 2016 8:00 PM
It was February this year when camel drivers first spotted the Chinese troops staking out a patch of coastal scrubland about 8 miles from the largest U.S. military base in Africa. […]
Due for completion next year, the naval outpost is expected to feature weapons stores, ship and helicopter maintenance facilities and possibly a small contingent of Chinese marines or special forces, according to foreign officers and experts monitoring its development. Its cluster of low-rise concrete buildings and shipping containers, some with Chinese flags, offers the most tangible sign yet of China’s strategy to extend its military reach across the Indian Ocean and beyond.
In doing so, China is accelerating its transformation from an isolationist, continental nation to a global maritime power, a move that could challenge Western security partnerships that have underpinned the world order since 1945.
Hawkish Chinese officers have long called for foreign bases. Only recently was the idea incorporated into official publications on strategy, including a 2013 book produced by the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science. It calls for China to establish “necessary overseas supply points and a limited force presence” abroad to protect lines of communication and “exert political and military influence in relevant regions.”