China is set to establish a second military base in Africa as the world sees the effort of the United States towards maintaining its military presence in Niger. The news surrounding China’s plan was unveiled when African leaders articulated and stated their demands from bilateral partners and multilateral institutions.

 A report by Chatham House says every Chinese foreign minister’s first overseas trip of the year has been to Africa. The report further stated that it had been a tradition for decades, and the drill continued this year with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, visiting Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. 

However, the tour has geared discussions about how these nations are considered potential sites for China’s next military installation in Africa.

Since 2012, China has played a significant role by building extensive infrastructure projects with investments and diplomatic engagement in Africa. 

Known for its strategic and long-term planning, China beats its Western counterparts and adopts a different approach, referring to recipients as ‘partners’. China continued to use terms like ‘development assistance’ to avoid the traditional donor–recipient binary.

China marked its footprint in Africa in 2017 after opening a Djibouti base to combat piracy operations and ensure seamless navigation. 

According to a report, the military base over the years has matured from a ‘resupply facility’ to a logistics facility. Up to two brigades of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gave this support.

The report further stated that the current Houthi militants’ attacks on commercial shipping across the Red Sea and the pirates’ attack on shipping in the waters off Somalia are proof that the strategic value of Djibouti and ensuring adjacent sea lines of communication, such as the Bab al Mandab Strait remain navigable.

Also, the report added and explained the need to balance African security interests and respect their sovereignty and development goal to define the future of China’s military presence on the continent. 

Speculation says Wang Yi’s recent visits may be more about a continued commitment to the continent rather than concrete military expansion.


Ojeyemi Adeleye
Ojeyemi Adeleye
I am Ojeyemi Adeleye, a theatre arts graduate of the University of Ilorin and a masters degree holder in Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity. I am a content writer who believes the world can be brought to your doorsteps through writing.

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