China May Send Troops to East Africa

RT reports today that China would consider sending troops into the disputed border region between Djibouti and Eritrea. Kuang Weilin, Head of the Chinese Mission to the Africa Union said China would consider intervening if border tensions between the two countries exploded, however, he hoped the dispute would be solved amicably.

China is already one of the biggest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping forces around the world with over 2,500 troops deployed in global missions. There is no UN presence in either Djibouti or Eritrea, but earlier in July China deployed an unspecified number of troops to Djibouti to man its first overseas military base. The US also maintains a naval expeditionary base in the country at Camp Lemonnier.

Mr. Kuang told AP that the new Chinese base “will only have logistical purposes, not defense capabilities,” and will focus on anti-piracy, peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts throughout Africa and western Asia.

The People’s Liberation Army Daily’s front page editorial said the facility will increase China’s abilities to maintain world peace. According to the report, China has many UN peacekeepers in Africa and is closely involved in anti-piracy patrols. Reuters reported that the base has sparked concern in India as it offers easy access to the Indian Ocean, but China has denied that it is attempting military expansionism.

RT report found here.

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