China is building its first military base in China once again undermining American intervention in the region.
The small country of Djibouti granted Beijing a 10-year-contract to set-up shop there. The base and airfield would strategically be located across Yemen on the Red Sea, and sit between Eritrea and Somalia.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has just been booted off a drone base in Ethiopia diminishing Washington’s plans to expand into the town of Arba Minch.
But, China isn’t just looking to expand its military footprint on the continent. It’s also opening up its markets there, and securing both jobs and land. During December’s forum on China-African relations, Beijing pledged $60 billion in loans and export credits to African countries.
China also has been sealing lucrative and influential deals throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
“China operates in Africa with greater aplomb and with more nuanced and mutually beneficial relationships than America’s corporations and its federal [government],” said one private equity analyst during the Council on Foreign Relations. “The USG’s most visible diplomatic effort in Africa, Power Africa, is sputtering. American businesses haven’t sufficiently picked up the slack.”
AFRICOM Commander Gen. David Rodriguez told The Hill news outlet that China’s proposed base in Djibouti would be a “logistics hub” that would allow China to “extend their reach” into Africa.
AFRICOM’s priorities remain combating terror groups from one tip of Northern Africa to the other. However, the recent U.S. ban from the drone base in Ethiopia, near Djibouti, has put a damper on America’s attack capabilities in the region. Moreover, the U.S. has not presented an effective strategy in “containing” ISIS in Libya, where militants are attempting to “liberate” the country through targeted attacks and suicide bombings.