China builds new facility in Djibouti base for anti-piracy operations

Djibouti mapChina will construct a new facility at its base in Djibouti for anti-piracy purposes to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world, the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) said, after Western media reported that China was building a pier to allow naval vessels to dock.

“After holding talks with Djibouti, China has decided to build the necessary facilities at the base for either side to use,” Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Ren Guoqiang told the Global Times on Thursday (31 May 2018).

The construction is to “better fulfill China’s international responsibilities, including anti-piracy work, and to maintain the peace and stability of Africa and the world,” Ren said.

“China has begun to construct a pier at its military base in Djibouti,” the UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly reported on May 23.

The report said satellite images show that the construction began some time after the end of April, and that the newly constructed pier had extended about 330 meters into the sea by May 20.

Ren also said that a forum on China-Africa defense and security will be held in China from June 26 to July 10. Officials and officers of national defense departments of African countries are expected to attend.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) support base in Djibouti conducted live-fire drills on May 12 to gauge the performance of weapons, and to make troops more prepared for counter-terrorism operations.

The base is China’s first overseas and began operations on August 1, 2017.