China’s Overseas Military Base in Djibouti: Features, Motivations, and Policy Implications

John Fei
Content Type
Journal Article
China Brief
Issue Number
Publication Date
December 2017
The Jamestown Foundation
China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti is near the U.S.’ sole military base in Africa—Camp Lemonnier—and signals China’s interest in protecting its growing economic and security interests in Africa and the Indian Ocean. While the base reflects China’s growing economic and security ambitions, it is unclear at present whether the facility represents just an effort for China to enhance its peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, or suggests greater ambitions. If, as some reports suggest, China does open more military bases in African and the Indian Ocean region, then the Djibouti base would mark the beginning of a sea-change in Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean region (Sina, December 19).
Development, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Economic Growth, Maritime, Soft Power
Political Geography
Africa, China, Asia, Djibouti, United States of America