With military presence in Africa, China is seeking to defend own interests on vital maritime supply lines heading though the Gulf of Aden. In turn, the US officials believe that China actions conduct a threat for major escalation between Washington and Beijing.
Written by Mario Andrijasevic exclusively for SouthFront
Chinese officials announced the military will soon get its new base in Djibouti, North Africa. The base will give China an airfield that could significantly improve its intelligence gathering capabilities over the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Eastern Libya and well into Central Africa.
“Currently, construction of infrastructure for the support facilities has started, and the Chinese side has dispatched personnel to Djibouti for relevant work,” said Colonel Wu Qian.
Even though Qian said logistical support will be among the base’s main uses, some officials claim that the base could be the start of a more nefarious agenda.
Colonel Wu Qian claimed the Chinese regime would use it for missions to escort ships through the Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast, and for “peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance.”
Chinese presence in Africa clearly represents a challenge to the dominance of the United States, which has its own military base in Djibouti, at Camp Lemonnier. From there they conduct intelligence, counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations.
Let´s remind that Wu Qian recently said that the only way to contain the United States is by attacking its finances and called that other countries shall also think more about how to cut off the capital flow to the United States while formulating their strategies.
Could this be the Thucydides Trap?
According to The Independent´s columnist Peter Popham the new great war could start due to the constant conflicts between the US and China. Allow me to only mention the South China Sea crisis. While the whole Europe is preoccupied with migrant crisis, the situation between the US and China is near the boiling point.
It is well know that these two superpowers poses the strongest military force in the world and according to Popham they are on a collision course, or better said they are heading in the Thucydides Trap. This phenomenon is called after the Greek writer and poet, best known for his descriptions of the Peloponnesian wars.
It is worth mentioning that this is not only the Popham’s opinion or idea, but let’s remind that also the Chinese president Xi Jinping mentioned and warned about this possibility.
“There is no such thing as the Thucydides Trap in the world. But should major countries time and time again make the mistake of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.” ,said the Chinese president Xi Jinping.
And his claim is also accepted by many global experts in the field of defense.
In 2015, despite the general slowdown of the economy, China increased its military budget by 10 per cent, and one Chinese general warned that once the build-up was complete, “No enemy will dare to bully us.”
A similar phenomenon has occurred in the world many times and we all know the saying that history repeats itself. For example, the rise of Germany and the threat that Germany’s ever-expanding navy posed to Britain set the scene for the Thucydides Trap of the First World War.