Chinese warships set sail for Djibouti

A soldier of China’s People’s Liberation Army holds a PLA flag as others stand guard at a military port in Zhanjiang Guangdong province

This will be China's first overseas naval base, although Beijing officially terms it a logistics facility.

China is expanding its presence in East Africa with the addition of military personnel at its base in Djibouti.

And military expansion isn't China's only move to become an even larger global player.

China's defence ministry said that a ceremony was held at a naval pier in the southern Chinese port of Zhanjiang, presided over by navy commander Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong. However, the Chinese base will be established in the northern Obock region, eclipsing smaller USA military installations there. We see a tremendous investment in media on continent to tell that China story to Africans and more exchange programs for African students and engineers to go to China, something that the West used to offer but has decreased since September 11.

Since 2014, Djibouti has been seen as a strategic location offering some of the most prime military real estate, according to PRI. "They have a very friendly, peaceful government, and they have this location on a busy shipping route next-door to conflicts in Somalia and Yemen - a short flight to the Middle East without having to be based there". "Foreign public opinion focuses on the base for good reason; this base will support China's navy to go farther afield, and it is of great significance". They say that it will largely support anti-piracy operations. Djibouti is considered as a stable country in an unstable region. It also raises the possibility of "forward deployment" at India's doorstep - at Pakistan's Gwadar port, where the deployment now is intended only to "protect" Chinese workers at the facility. The 2014 US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in the report, "Given China's growing navy and the US Navy's planned decline in the size of its fleet, the balance of power and presence in the region is shifting in China's favour". "Compared with the specialized function of logistics support of the Chinese base, other military bases station more troops and fighters and conduct military training", Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association was quoted as saying by the Global Times Wednesday.

Multinational anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden that China joined in 2008 have also given its navy ready access to the Mediterranean, and, in 2011, it took the unprecedented step of sending one of its most sophisticated warships together with military transport aircraft to help in the evacuation of about 35,000 Chinese citizens from Libya.

In a separate report, CNN noted that China has expanded its military ties across Africa in recent years.

India, in particular, views the base with some suspicion as New Delhi is concerned that China is confronting it with a "ring of pearls" - a series of assets and alliances across the Indian Ocean and into South-East Asia.

China also seems to be moving toward clean energy.

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