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

The Chinese navy's base in Djibouti is Beijing's first foreign military base© AP Photo/ Wu Dengfeng/Xinhua News Agency

China will construct a 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 said on Thursday after Western media reported that China was building a dock for naval vessels.

“After holding talks with Djibouti, China has decided to build the necessary facilities at the base for either side to use,” defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told the Global Times on Thursday.

The construction was 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.

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

Satellite images showed construction began some time after the end of April, the report said, and that the newly constructed pier 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 it.

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

The base is China’s first overseas base and began its operation on August 1.

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