China’s military is setting up shop in Africa, the Hill reports:
“They are going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa,” U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, recently told defense reporters.There has been speculation for years that China might establish a base in Djibouti. Rodriguez said China has signed a 10-year contract with the African nation.The base, he said, would serve as a logistics hub for China to be able to “extend their reach.”
Given China’s deepening economic interests across the continent, it was only a matter of time before this happened. But the move comes after three Chinese executives were killed in last week’s attack on the Radisson hotel in Mali. With the security situation deteriorating everywhere from Nigeria to Burundi to Mali to Libya, China needs to be able to protect its infrastructure and personnel. Indeed, we’d be surprised if Chinese officials aren’t already scouting out locations for their next military installation on the continent.