The United States issues warnings on the Chinese plan for military bases in Kenya

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The United States issues warnings on the Chinese plan for military bases in Kenya


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A US Special Forces soldier trains Nigerian troops during an exercise on the 201 Airbase complex in Agadez, Niger on April 14, 2018. PHOTO | TARA TODRAS | NYT

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Summary

  • China opened its first military base in Djibouti in 2017, with the latter being located on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean.
  • Marines of the Chinese Navy are deployed at the Djibouti base, along with armored vehicles and artillery support.
  • The warning blow comes in the midst of a US-China arms race centered on nuclear stocks with major implications for the balance of military power.

The United States has sounded the alarm about China’s alleged plans to establish a military base in Kenya and extend its grip beyond economic and investment ties.

He said the planned base in Kenya is part of China’s quest for a global military logistics network to counter the existing interests of super-powerful nations, including the United States.

China opened its first military base in Djibouti in 2017, with the latter’s location on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean fueling concerns in India that it would become another of the “wire’s military alliances and assets.” of pearls “of Beijing, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, playing India.

It is China’s first overseas naval base, although Beijing officially describes it as a logistic facility.

Marines of the Chinese Navy are deployed at the Djibouti base, along with armored vehicles and artillery support.

“The People’s Republic of China [People’s Republic of China] has probably considered a number of countries, including … Kenya as a location for the PLA [The People’s Liberation Army] structures, ”the Pentagon (US Department of Defense) said in its annual report to the US Congress seen by Business Daily.

“A PLA global military logistics network and PLA military facilities could both interfere with US military operations and support offensive operations against the US as the PRC’s global military objectives evolve.”

The warning blow comes in the midst of a US-China arms race centered on nuclear stocks with major implications for the balance of military power.

US military planners say China is expanding its nuclear forces and bases to limit America’s options in the event of a conflict.

By setting up a base in Kenya, Washington has warned that Beijing wants to strengthen its military and economic influence over Kenya and other African countries.

“The PRC is seeking to establish stronger overseas logistics and basic infrastructure to allow the PLA to project and sustain military power over greater distances,” the Pentagon said.

China invests enormous amounts of resources in its efforts to project power.

This is mainly done through investments or direct control of major ports, airports or other infrastructure, as well as by promoting stronger political and diplomatic relations.

Nairobi and Washington, along with its former colonial master, Britain, have strong military commitments.

The United States, for example, has a military base in Manda Bay, Lamu, while the United Kingdom has a similar base in Nanyuki.

In July, the UK renewed its multi-billion dollar defense pact which allows its troops to continue training in Nanyuki.

Joe Biden’s new administration earlier this year also announced the deployment of US special troops to Kenya to aid in counter-terrorism efforts.

China’s flagged military ambitions are part of its plans to implement the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative which aims to further promote trade with African countries.

China has financed billions of shillings for infrastructure in Kenya through debt under the initiative, including the standard-gauge railway between Nairobi and Mombasa.

The initiative was first announced in 2013 and is a foreign and economic policy signature launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The United States, however, has been increasingly outspoken in urging Kenya to be wary of hefty project loans, warning that the East African nation could be scratched of unpaid debt to Beijing for projects built largely with manpower. Chinese.

The Kenyan military remained silent on Beijing’s alleged plans to establish an outpost that the United States first built last year. The Kenyan military did not respond at press time Thursday to a request from the Business Daily for comment on the latest report.

But China has dismissed the claims as false.

“The information mentioned … is totally false,” Xueqing Huang, head of the information and public affairs section of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, told Business Daily in an email response.

“Their latest report (from the Pentagon) is the same as the previous one that overlooks the facts and overflows with prejudice.”

Beijing’s goal, the US report states, is ultimately to harness its new military might to achieve its foreign policy goals and establish itself globally.

Previously, other analysts have pointed to the Chinese military base in Djibouti as a signal of Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions overseas.

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