China vying to set up military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast reveals US Intel

Approximately thousands of miles from its routine operational military bases in the Indo-Pacific, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) intends to establish its first-ever permanent military base under the Atlantic Ocean in the central African country of Equatorial Guinea, classified US intelligence reports have found, describing details of its secret discoveries, the WSJ reported. China is also in talks with Tanzania to establish its first naval base on the east coast, opposite the United States, to expand its military power in the Horn of Africa, raising concerns. about the security of the US Navy and the Pentagon.

China’s overseas military base in the African nation, if permitted, will be the second to a $590 million facility in Djibouti that gives the Chinese People’s Liberation Army strategic access to the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal. China’s naval base on the Atlantic coast of Africa “concerns me greatly,” Commander-in-Chief of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), Gen. Stephen Townsend, said in an interview with The Associated Press, adding that the suspected massive Chinese navy port will be able to accommodate submarines or aircraft carriers on the west coast of Africa giving an advantage to the communist regime’s military.

Credit: AP

Beijing’s ‘debt trap diplomacy’ and efforts of African peacekeeping missions – a way to boost military presence

China has approached several African nations stretching across Mauritania to southern Namibia, with the intention of establishing naval facilities to base warships in the Atlantic and Pacific. It set up the first military base within 10 miles of Camp Lemonnier, the largest US defense base in Africa, and until now was the only strategically located overseas military installation that housed aircraft carriers.

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh may have fallen victim to Beijing’s “debt trap diplomacy”, think tanks worry, and Townsend believes the “Chinese base [in Djibouti] is “developing into a platform to project energy across the continent and its waters”.

But China did not stop. He constantly looked for other grassroots opportunities [around Africa] for a “strategic strongpoint” to conduct anti-piracy operations in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the vital and strategic 18 miles wide at its narrowest choke point Bab-el-Mandeb or “Gate tears”, a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. US, French and Japanese military forces rushed to bolster their presence to protect the strategic route of global oil, petroleum and natural gas shipments after China established a naval base in the nation of East Africa from Djibouti in 2017, what the United States thinks. is intended to increase the military footprint.

Credit: US Energy Information Administration

“Their first overseas military base, their only one, is in Africa, and they have just expanded it by adding a major jetty that can even support their aircraft carriers in the future,” General Stephen Townsend warned. from AFRICOM in an interview with the AP. He then warned that across the continent they [Chinese] seek other grassroots opportunities.

Most oil and natural gas exports from the Persian Gulf that transit through the Suez Canal or the SUMED pipeline pass through both Bab el-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz, according to the US Energy Information Administration. These sea lanes are extremely critical to global energy security, and any maritime threat in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait will divert global tanker traffic from two 2-mile-wide channels around the tip of Africa, where the Chinese have now established their first naval base. Djibouti’s geographic location is also key for Beijing due to its proximity to key nations in Africa and Asia.

The $590 million multipurpose port of Doraleh is just seven kilometers from Camp Lemonnier, adjacent to the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone, and was set up under the guise of stepping up China’s so-called peacekeeping efforts, anti-piracy missions, and maintaining peace and stability. in Africa.

Credit: Twitter/Camp_Lemonnier

China takes Belt and Road (B&R) route to Africa

While global analysts say China’s military presence in Africa will bolster security and intelligence expertise, it just shows how Beijing’s military has strategically taken its Belt and Road (B&R) project up in Africa during the U.S. Army. presence that is emerging across the continent.

And now China is looking to the Atlantic Ocean along the west coast of Africa to build a naval facility capable of accommodating both submarines and aircraft carriers. It comes as Biden has pledged to maintain a strong US military presence in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese aggression, but the Chinese military is strategically expanding into Africa, South America and the Middle East. “outwitting the United States in African countries”. explains General Townsend of US AFRICOM.

“They’re looking for a place where they can rearm and repair warships. It becomes militarily useful in the event of a conflict,” Townsend reportedly explained in the AP interview. “They are far from having established this in Djibouti. Now they are looking to the Atlantic coast and want to set up such a base there.”

Then-Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend talks to an Iraqi officer during a tour north of Baghdad. Credit: AP

In Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the Chinese military presence continues to expand. “They have weapons and ammunition, that’s for sure. They have armored fighting vehicles. We believe they will be basing helicopters there soon to eventually include attack helicopters,” US General Stephen Townsend said.

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party launched a week-long China-Africa peace and security forum with African defense ministers and military leaders to conduct a dialogue on financing the cooperation, peace and security in the Horn of Africa. In reality, China can only expand its military buildup on a much larger scale, according to Townsend’s position statement to the US House Armed Services Committee. “Port projects, economic efforts, infrastructure and their agreements and contracts will lead to better access in the future. They are hedging their bets and making big bets on Africa,” he further warned in the post. ‘interview.

Image: AP/Maxar Technologies

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