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Having made itself odious by harassing its maritime neighbors in and around the South China Sea, as Liberty Nation has reported, China is projecting its influence more prominently in other places around the world, most recently in the Red Sea. China has developed a naval base and commercial marine port complex in Djibouti. Located adjacent to the Mab al-Mandab Strait linking the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea on the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is in a particularly strategic geographic position.
For decades, the United States Navy (USN) enjoyed its reputation as the largest and most prominent “blue-water” naval force. The USN can project sea power globally with its 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, each with about 85-90 different operational aircraft. However, the USN may be getting company in the Middle East.
As Sam LaGrone explains in his U.S. Naval Institute USNI News article, the Chinese port complex was started in 2017 as a commercial facility and to support the People’s Liberation Army’s “anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.” Subsequently, the Chinese port has become much more.
Delivering his “Posture Statement” before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), explained the geopolitical significance of Chinese presence in Djibouti.
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JD Rucker – EIC