China announces official opening of Naval Base in Djibouti
China confirmed it has set up a military base in Djibouti. Ships carrying Chinese military personnel departed Zhanjiang in southern China’s Guangdong Province on Tuesday to set up the Djibouti support base.
Shen Jinlong, commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, read an order on constructing the base in Djibouti, and conferred military flag on the fleets.
This will be China’s first overseas naval base, although Beijing officially terms it a logistics facility.
The establishment of the Chinese military base was a decision made by the two countries after friendly negotiations, and accords with the common interest of the people from both sides, according to the PLA navy.
The base is expected to ensure China’s performance of missions, such as escorting, peace-keeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and west Asia.
The base will also be conducive to overseas tasks including military cooperation, joint exercises, evacuating and protecting overseas Chinese and emergency rescue, as well as jointly maintaining security of international strategic seaways.
Djibouti is a small country that covers 23,180 square kilometers of land with a population of 774,389, located in the Horn of Africa right at the entrance of the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden.