China formally opens first overseas military base in Djibouti

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PV International Desk : China formally opened its first overseas military base on Tuesday with a flag raising ceremony in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the same day as the People’s Liberation Army marks its 90th birthday, state media said.

Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

China began construction of a logistics base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

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

State radio said more than 300 people attended the ceremony, including deputy Chinese naval commander Tian Zhong and Djibouti’s defence minister.