iuseppe Sandro Mela.
«China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country’s first overseas military base.»
«Two Chinese Navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang on Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean»
«China joins the US, France and Japan, among others, with permanent bases in Djibouti, a former French colony with a population of less than one million residents»
«Though small in both population and size, Djibouti’s position on the tip of the Horn of Africa offers strategic access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait»
«The strait, which is only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, connects the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean beyond»
«The US military has some 4,000 troops at Camp Lemonnier, a 100-acre base for which it signed a 10-year, $630 million lease in 2014»
* * * * * * * *
Negli ultimi anni la Cina ha compiuto uno sforzo non indifferente per ristrutturare le proprie forze armate.
Nel 2009 la Cina aveva un budget militare di 98.8 miliardi Usd, salito a 145.8 miliardi nel 2015, ed arrivato a 215.7 miliardi Usd nel 2016.
Negli ultimi anni ha dispiegato un grande impegno nel riarmo delle proprie forze di mare.
Tutto ciò associato ad una intensa attività diplomatica ed economica di penetrazione nel continente africano
«Cost comparisons have been made between this line and Ethiopia’s 756km Addis Ababa-Djibouti line launched last year»
«La Cina ha rilevato i progetti relativi all’An-124 ed all’An-225. Sono aerei da trasporti di progettazione e costruzione russa. Il primo è un quadrimotore turboventola per il trasporto strategico che volando alla velocità di crociera di 850 km/h può trasportare 150 tonnellate per circa 5,000 kilometri. Il secondo è un esamotore turbofan che ad una velocità di crociera i 860 km/h può trasportare 250 tonnellate di materiali per 15,000 kilometri.»
«Negli ultimi cinque anni la presenza militare cinese in Africa è cambiata. Fino al 2012 si limitava a fornire supporto di basso profilo nelle operazioni internazionali di peacekeeping, preferiva mandare ingegneri e medici che militari. Oggi non è più così. Di fatto la Repubblica popolare è l’ottavo paese per numero di unità militari che partecipano alle operazioni dei Caschi blu in Africa e il primo in assoluto tra i cinque membri permanenti del Consiglio di sicurezza Onu.»
Nell’aprile di questo anno una fregata cinese che pattugliava il Golfo di Aden ha liberato una nave da carico dai pirati che la avevano assalita.
«Giornali cinesi locali avrebbero riportato che molti dei pirati sarebbero morti dopo diversi giorni di atroci agonie, amorosamente accuditi da cinesi specializzati nella bisogna».
La pirateria somala è quasi svanita nel nulla per carenza di volontari. I metodi cinesi sono maieutici.
Una unica considerazione.
Prima i cinesi non c’erano, ma oggi ci sono.
Abbiamo riportato un articolo persino della Cnn, emittente americana che ha dovuto licenziare numerosi suoi giornalisti per aver riportato notizie false ed altre falsificate. Tranquillizziano i signori Lettori: abbiamo controllato con cura che, almeno in questa occasione, non raccontassero troppe frottole, pur essendo la Cnn uno dei sacri templi liberal democratici.
→ Bbc. 2017-07-12. Djibouti: Chinese troops depart for first overseas military base
Ships carrying Chinese troops are heading to Djibouti to set up Beijing’s first overseas military base, reports state media.
China says the support base will be used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia.
It will also be used for military co-operation, naval exercises and rescue missions, Xinhua said.
China has ramped up investment in Africa, as well as rapidly modernised its military in recent years.
The Xinhua report said the ships departed from the port city of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province on Tuesday.
It did not specify the number of troops or ships that departed for Djibouti, nor when the base would start operations.
The report said the Djibouti base came after “friendly negotiations” between the two countries. Previous reports said construction began last year.
The base is widely seen as a move by China to stake its military presence in the region.
But an editorial (in Chinese) on Wednesday in the state-run Global Times said that the “essential purpose of China’s development of its military might is to protect ‘China’s safety’, and is not about seeking to control the world”.
The newspaper pointed out that the US, Japan and France also have military bases in Djibouti.
Djibouti, a tiny country at the Horn of Africa, is favoured for its location as it sits near a busy shipping route. It is also seen as a stable country in an otherwise volatile region.
In 2015, at a major summit with African nations, China pledged to invest $60bn (then £40bn) in Africa’s development.
Besides becoming the continent’s largest trading partner, it has also poured in funds and manpower for infrastructure projects.
Many of them are railways linking up African countries, including one that connects Djibouti with the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as well as railways in Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
In return, Africa supplies China with natural resources, minerals and energy.
China also embarked on its first foreign peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2015.
→ Cnn. 2017-07-12. China sends troops to Djibouti, establishes first overseas military base
China has dispatched troops to Djibouti in advance of formally establishing the country’s first overseas military base.
Two Chinese Navy warships left the port of Zhanjiang on Tuesday, taking an undisclosed number of military personnel on the journey across the Indian Ocean.
An editorial Wednesday in the state-run Global Times stressed the importance of the new Djibouti facility — in the strategically located Horn of Africa — to the Chinese military.
“Certainly this is the People’s Liberation Army’s first overseas base and we will base troops there. It’s not a commercial resupply point… This base can support Chinese Navy to go farther, so it means a lot,” said the paper.
The Global Times said the main role of the base would be to support Chinese warships operating in the region in anti-piracy and humanitarian operations.
“It’s not about seeking to control the world,” said the editorial.
Chinese military presence
At a regular press briefing Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang described the base as part of ongoing efforts to help bring peace and security to the region.
“China has been deploying naval ships to waters off Somalia in the Gulf of Aden to conduct escorting missions since 2008,” said Geng. “The completion and operation of the base will help China better fulfill its international obligations in conducting escorting missions and humanitarian assistance … It will also help promote economic and social development in Djibouti.”
China has expanded its military ties across Africa in recent years. According to a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), cooperation with Africa on peace and security is now an “explicit part of Beijing’s foreign policy.”
In 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping committed 8,000 troops to the UN peacekeeping standby force — one fifth of the 40,000 total troops committed by 50 nations — China also pledged $100 million to the African Union standby force and $1 billion to establish the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund.
More than 2,500 Chinese combat-ready soldiers and police officers are now deployed in blue-helmet missions across the African continent, with the largest deployments in South Sudan (1,051), Liberia (666), and Mali (402), according to the ECFR.
“Blue-helmet deployments give the PLA a chance to build up field experience abroad — and to help secure Chinese economic interests in places such as South Sudan,” said the ECFR report.
Africa is home to an estimated one million Chinese nationals, with many employed in infrastructure projects backed by the Chinese government.
“China’s involvement in African security is a product of a wider transformation of China’s national defense policy. It is taking on a global outlook … and incorporating new concepts such as the protection of overseas interests and open seas protection,” said the ECFR report.
US ‘strategic interests’
China joins the US, France and Japan, among others, with permanent bases in Djibouti, a former French colony with a population of less than one million residents.
Though small in both population and size, Djibouti’s position on the tip of the Horn of Africa offers strategic access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
The strait, which is only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, connects the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean beyond.
One of the world’s most important sea lanes, millions of barrels of oil and petroleum products pass through the strait daily, according to GlobalSecurity.org.
US Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, stressed Djibouti’s location during a visit to the US Camp Lemonnier garrison there earlier this year.
“This particular piece of geography is very, very important to our strategic interests,” Waldhauser said in joint appearance with US Defense Secretary James Mattis.
The US military has some 4,000 troops at Camp Lemonnier, a 100-acre base for which it signed a 10-year, $630 million lease in 2014, according to media reports.
Elsewhere in Djibouti, the US 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 New York. The Pentagon is investing millions in the base, and satellite photos show several construction projects, the center reported last year.
Japan, which has seen tense relations with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea, has established what it calls an “activity facility” to support its anti-piracy efforts there.
A spokesperson for the Japan Self Defense Forces said 170 troops are at its 30-acre facility in Djibouti.
Lease terms would not be released, but Japan will spend about $9 million to operate the facility this fiscal year, the spokesperson said.
Edward Paice, director of the London-based Africa Research Institute, said a base in Djibouti makes a lot of sense for China, just as it does for Japan or the US.
“It (China) has cited its desire to play a greater role in peacekeeping, and it has combat troops in both South Sudan and Mali. It’s logical that it needs an actual base somewhere in Africa, which is really no different from the Americans saying that they need Camp Lemonnier as a headquarters for operations in Africa, whether in peacekeeping or counterterror or whatever,” Paice said on The Cipher Brief website.
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.
“It’s a confluence of these factors — trade, military, and stability in the host country’s government” that brought China to Djibouti, Paice said.
Meanwhile, for Djibouti, it’s all about money, Paice said. “This is a fantastic get-rich-quick scheme — to rent bits of desert to foreign powers. It’s as simple as that.”