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China sends troops to its ‘support base’ in East Africa

China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country’s first overseas military base.

Two Chinese Navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang on Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean.
An editorial Wednesday stressed the importance of the new Djibouti facility – in the strategically located Horn of Africa — to the Chinese military.
“Certainly this is the People’s Liberation Army’s first overseas base and we will base troops there. It’s not a commercial resupply point… This base can support Chinese Navy to go farther, so it means a lot,” said the paper.
At a regular press briefing Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang described the base as part of ongoing efforts to help bring peace and security to the region.
“China has been deploying naval ships to waters off Somalia in the Gulf of Aden to conduct escorting missions since 2008,” said Geng. “The completion and operation of the base will help China better fulfill its international obligations in conducting escorting missions and humanitarian assistance … It will also help promote economic and social development in Djibouti.”
China has expanded its military ties across Africa in recent years. According to a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), China’s involvement in African security is a product of a wider transformation of China’s national defense policy. It is taking on a global outlook … and incorporating new concepts such as the protection of overseas interests and open seas protection,” said the report.cooperation with Africa on peace and security is now an “explicit part of Beijing’s foreign policy.”
Source : CNN
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