Naval base a boon to world
Ships carrying People’s Liberation Army naval personnel assigned to the Djibouti Logistics Support Base departed from a naval port in Zhanjiang, South China’s Guangdong province, on Tuesday. The establishment of the overseas support base, the first of its kind for the Chinese military, is the outcome of friendly negotiations between the governments of China and the African nation and accords with the common interests of the peoples of both countries.
The base’s operations will help the Chinese navy better perform its escort, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, and help boost local economic and social development.
Since China began participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia under relevant UN resolutions in 2008, it has faced fuel and supply challenges, and Djibouti has extended a helping hand several times.
The establishment of the Djibouti base will resolve this issue, and thus improve the capabilities of Chinese vessels to conduct joint exercises and carry out emergency evacuation and overseas rescue operations, and enable it to better safeguard the safety of international strategic maritime passages with other countries.
Unlike the military base of the United States in Djibouti where more than 4,000 US Marines and F-16 fighters are deployed, China’s facility in Djibouti is mainly for logistics and maintenance purposes.
It is China’s long-cherished stance that it will not seek military expansionism, and that stance has not changed with the construction of the Djibouti base.
However, it is normal for China to seek to set up logistics bases overseas to fuel its expanding naval presence in the world that is for the purpose of safeguarding its expanded overseas interests and world peace.