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

Author
John Fei
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
China Brief
Volume
17
Issue Number
17
Publication Date
December 2017
Institution
The Jamestown Foundation
Abstract
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).
Topic
Development, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Economic Growth, Maritime, Soft Power
Political Geography
Africa, China, Asia, Djibouti, United States of America