PLA sets up first overseas base

PLA sets up first overseas base

PLA sets up first overseas base

China dispatched troops to set up its first military base overseas on Tuesday. This week, as Beijing sent personnel to Djibouti, its first military base overseas, it marked the formal return of Chinese maritime expansionism - and sent a few shivers of concern in capitals around the world, including in New Delhi.

"Whether a country needs to build an overseas base should come out of its own concerns and it merely involves bilateral talks with the other nation".

It is the first such base being set up by China.

Xu said that the western media should not hype the China threat theory. After a ceremony in the southern port city of Zhanjiang, military personnel embarked on a voyage to the East African country of Djibouti to establish an outpost "conducive to China's performance of worldwide obligations", state-run media report. China had already begun construction of a logistics base in Djibouti previous year that they claimed will aim to resupply naval vessels working for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Somalia and Yemen. Beijing also said that China was not budging from its "defensive" military policy and that the base did not indicate an "arms race or military expansion", The New York Times reported. "These promises will not change because of the construction of the overseas logistics base".

The base is generally meant to "assist China's contribution to peace and stability both in Africa and worldwide", according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Xinhua said the establishment of the base was a decision made by the two countries after "friendly negotiations, and accords with the common interest of the people from both sides". Djibouti is the largest permanent U.S. military base, camp Lemonnier, which is based on more than four thousand people, as well as a base of France and Japan.

Reuters reports that the small country, which is on the Horn of Africa, perched at the mouth of the Red Sea, already boasts U.S., French and Japanese military bases.

The "People's Liberation Army Daily" said in a front-page commentary that the new base would help China to fulfil its obligations in ensuring global peace, working with its huge United Nations peacekeeping force in Africa and its anti-piracy patrols.

The Hindustan Timesreported that with Djibouti, China has stepped up activity in the Indian Ocean, which India considers within its sphere of influence.

The report also said the Chinese navy's "evolving focus - from "offshore waters defense" to a mix of "offshore waters defense" and "far seas protection" - reflects the high command's expanding interest in a wider operational reach". Beijing is also building ports and other infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In 2015, at a major summit with African nations, China pledged to invest Dollars 60 billion in Africa's development, the BBC reminds. It is believed that China wants to explore and exploit Africa's natural resources and wants to control new, open markets and hence has taken this step.

China also embarked on its first peace keeping mission in South Sudan in 2015.

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