Ships carrying Chinese troops are heading to Djibouti to set up Beijing's first overseas military base, reports state media outlet Xinhua.
It is still unclear how many troops or ships left the Zhanjiang port in southern China's Guangdong Province on Tuesday, 11 July.
According to Chinese State media, the base will be used for peace keeping missions and humanitarian aid in the area, but also may be used for military tasks overseas and securing strategic seaways.
This new military base is essentially China serving its own interests to try and protect itself as well as assert its dominance geopolitically. The stated aim of the base is to buttress China's peacekeeping efforts on the continent, as well as providing ongoing support to ships under threat from pirates in the region.
Multinational anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden have also given its navy and access to Mediterranean in 2008. He also stressed that Beijing was committed to peaceful development, adding that China's defense policy remained to be defensive in nature.
Djibouti, a small country at the Horn of Africa, is situated on the northwest edge of the Indian Ocean where China has increasingly been sailing its warships and sending submarines, causing concern in India.
Meanwhile, the U.S. opined that China likely to build a military base in Pakistan. The move is also set to increase the number of personnel in PLA Strategic Support Force and the PLA Rocket Force.
"Surely this is the People's Liberation Army's first overseas base and we will base troops there".
Elsewhere in Djibouti, the United States military operates the Chabelley Airfield, from which the Pentagon stages drone airstrikes, likely into Somalia and across the Bab el-Mandeb Strait into Yemen, according to the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in NY. It makes sense there is attention on this from foreign public opinion, " said the paper, which is published by the official People's Daily.
The United States also has a permanent military base in Djibouti, Camp Lemonnier, a 100-acre base that houses some 4,000 US troops, CNN reported. The Chinese government signed a 10 year agreement with their Djibouti counterpart in 2015 to start work on the military base in the African state.
Paice points out that China made a substantial investment in Djibouti - about $500 million, according to reports - to build the Djibouti portion of a rail line to the capital of neighboring Ethiopia.