Another Obama Success Story
Now the Chinese Navy is moving into Africa
(London Telegraph) - There are mounting concerns that the region (Middle East) could suffer further instability following China’s decision to establish its first overseas military outpost in one of the world’s most troubled hotshots.
The Chinese seem set to make their own power play by establishing their first overseas military base in the strategically important state of Djibouti, one of the Pentagon’s most important listening posts for the Arab world and Africa.
Sited at the junction between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, Djibouti is home to Camp Lemmonier, the Pentagon’s main intelligence-gathering post for the Arab world and the strategically-important shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The base hosts 4,500 U.S. military personnel and has become one of Washington’s key listening posts since the September 11 attacks.
|Djibouti navy soldiers salute in front of China’s hospital |
ship Peace Ark at the port of Djibouti.
China’s decision earlier this month that it is to build its own naval base in Djibouti, the first time Beijing has sought to establish a permanent military presence beyond the country’s borders, has been greeted with deep concern at the Pentagon
One of the reasons China has been able to pull off this audacious military stakeout in Djibouti, a country previously regarded as lying within Washington’s sphere of influence, is the increasingly erratic conduct of its autocratic leader, President Ismail Omar Guelleh.
For many years after coming to power in 1999, Mr Guelleh forged a close relationship with Washington, which propped up his government by providing the impoverished African country with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
But relations became strained after Mr Guelleh came under intense criticism from Washington over his human rights record, and his determination to seek a fourth term in office in next year’s presidential elections, which many of his opponents claim is unconstitutional.
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