March 21, 2019
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Strategic goals
Chinese naval base in Djibouti and its implications With the opening of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, China has clearly sent a message that its role in the world is changing. The implications for the Middle East and Africa are immediate, but the larger message is clear that China no longer intends to be an exclusively Asian power. China had always maintained the stance that it did not have major international ambitions beyond serving its own economic growth. Quietly, however, it has been building its capacity in many areas including in terms of expanding its blue-water navy and building a substantial space programme. As China’s economic interests have grown in far flung, it has begun to recognise the need to be able to protect those interests should the need arise. Support base While the world is looking at the new facility as a military base, China instead calls it a “support base,” which will ensure China’s performance of missions, such as escorting, peace-keeping, and humanitarian aid in Africa and west Asia. China started building the base in 2016, the country’s first naval base aboard. China’s agreement with Djibouti ensures its military presence in the country till 2026, with a contingent upto 10,000 soldiers, where it will pay USD 20 million per year in rent. Djibouti, a tiny country with almost no natural resources, high unemployment rate, and vast stretches of semi-arid desert, has been see
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