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China has refuted ‘Western media reports’ on the Djibouti military base as a prejudice against Beijing and has said that the two ships carrying military personnel are solely for the purpose of anti-piracy mission.
“China’s base in Djibouti has basic differences with military bases of other countries in scale, function and equipment. Compared with the specialized function of logistics support of the Chinese base, other military bases station more troops and fighters and conduct military training,” Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association was quoted as saying by the Global Times several weeks ago. “Whether a country needs to build an overseas base should come out of its own concerns and it merely involves talks with the other nation. Why do Western countries make comments about China’s first overseas base, while they already have many?” Xu said.
“Sending the two ships to the Djibouti base shows China’s intent on anti-terrorism and anti-piracy, and in offering logistical support to fleets which have convoy missions in the Gulf of Aden,” Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert who served in the Second Artillery Corps of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said in a recent interview.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press conference China’s support base in Djibouti would be beneficial for China to fulfill its international responsibilities in convoys in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, and offering humanitarian assistance.
The establishment of the Djibouti base was a decision made by the two countries after friendly negotiations and accords with the common interest of the people from both sides at heart. Song said that any military move China makes overseas would touch a sensitive nerve in Western countries, who would overlook China’s peaceful purposes and hype the China threat theory.