China hints at global military bases

Djibouti "logistics facility" fulfils international obligations to protect shipping off the Horn of Africa, China says.

    China is seeking to expand its capacity to respond to growing threats to its interests abroad [Reuters]
    China is seeking to expand its capacity to respond to growing threats to its interests abroad [Reuters]

    China has hinted that it is planning more global military bases after setting up a logistics centre in Djibouti, a move some analysts view as Beijing's attempt to wield more global influence.

    Djibouti - strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal - is already home to United States and French bases, while other navies often use its port. On the Horn of Africa, Djibouti has fewer than a million people but is striving to become an international shipping hub.

     China's Xi Jinping in South Africa before the regional summit

    China is building the logistics facility there to support its anti-piracy operations in the waters off Somalia and Yemen.

    Speaking on the sidelines of China's annual congress meeting on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing was fulfilling its international obligations to protect shipping.

    "We are willing to - in accordance with objective needs, responding to the wishes of host nations, and in regions where China's interests are concentrated - try out the construction of some infrastructure facilities and support abilities," he said.

    "I believe that this is not only fair and reasonable but also accords with international practice," Wang added, without elaborating.

    He also said China is not looking to supplant the United States.

    China and the US regularly clash on everything from trade and human rights to Beijing's claims in the disputed South China Sea. Candidates for this year's US presidential election have routinely criticised Beijing.

    China, the world's second-largest economy, is seeking to expand its capacity to respond to growing threats to its interests abroad. 

    Beijing has been keen not to call it a military base, but state media increasingly uses this language to refer to it.

     Panetta holds talks with China's Xi

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.