China has joined the United States and France in setting up a military logistics facility in Djibouti, on the horn of Africa. The stated justification by the Chinese government is to provide logistics for anti-piracy efforts in the area. Djibouti also guards the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. China hinted it could build additional bases around the world in the future to secure Chinese national interests and facilitate its influence globally.
In a stunning example of hypocrisy, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the effort in Djibouti was to protect international shipping lanes while speaking at China’s annual congress meeting. China is currently building artificial, military islands in the middle of the extremely busy South China Sea shipping lanes, threatening peaceful freedom of navigation in the region. They are installing radar and missile defense systems as well as building airstrips to support military aircraft. No other nations recognize these reclaimed atolls as Chinese sovereign territory. The United States military routinely flies aircraft and navigates ships through the claimed territory in order to support international maritime law.
“We are willing to – in accordance with objective needs, responding to the wishes of host nations, and in regions where China’s interests are concentrated – try out the construction of some infrastructure facilities and support abilities,” he said. “I believe that this is not only fair and reasonable but also accords with international practice,” reported Al Jazeera.