David Rodriguez, a commander of the United States Africa Command, confirms that after much speculation, the Chinese government have sealed a 10-year contract deal, permitting the Chinese military presence in Djibouti where the United States government also have military installations, Camp Lemonnier, where they carry out anti-terrorism/piracy operations.
Recent developments have shown the evident aggressive relationship between Africa and China in business matters. Now it appears it’s getting even more political. Of all continents in the world, why Africa? On one hand we hear the United States donation of 24 armored personnel Carriers to Nigeria to tackle Boko Haram insurgency, now it is official that the Chinese government is making Africa, the Republic of Djibouti precisely, her new military base. Is this some sort of competition? This literally means harboring the naval force of 2 world powers in one location.
However, let’s blame it on the strategic location of Djibouti, which according to Hill report will give “China an airfield that could significantly improve its intelligence gathering capabilities over the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Eastern Libya and well into Central Africa.”
Expressing concerns about China’s expansion into Africa, the U.S army commander, Rodriguez did not also fail to say this:
“For now, China’s activities in Africa do not appear to be provocative, with their troops participating in a United Nations mission and the training of African military officials”
The Chinese presence in Africa on a general note is an adventure of benefits – investments (loans and export credits), job creation, ease in intelligence operations. In turn they have been overtly accommodating and liberal in Africa business-relations; for instance in December 2015, during the China-Africa Cooperation forum, Beijing proposed a $60 billion investment in Africa. Making Africa an extension of its naval territory crowns the gain cycle for China.
No one can say what kind of game this is for the 2 world powers but the American government is seriously not smiling about the recent development. Regardless of the U.S support in Al-shabab insurgency, Ethiopia just disappointed the U.S government on their intended military base expansion; Zimbabwe takes up Chinese currency; China deepens business deals with Angola. The American relevance is slowly fading off from Africa. In it’s place, China is seriously dominating sub-saharan Africa with lucrative socio-political and economic interests.
Image(s) Source: Sputnik News