The U.S. Military Is Worried About China’s Moves in Africa

China & Africa
The Pentagon and US State Department are reinforcing their commitment to African security and influence amid numerous reports of stepped up Chinese military and economic incursions into the region.

The Pentagon and US State Department are reinforcing their commitment to African security and influence amid numerous reports of stepped up Chinese military and economic incursions into the region.

Having established a military base in Djibouti on the coast as recently as last year, China is expanding political and military influence in the region, inspiring substantial concern among US officials and prompting discussion of a stronger commitment.

“Djibouti is a key, strategic United States partner in the region and is host to Camp Lemonnier, the sole enduring presence for the United State military in Africa since 2003. Djibouti remains committed to ensuring the pursuit of our shared interests in the region,” a State Dept. official told Warrior Maven Global Security.

According to US senior leaders and independent think-tank assessments, China’s fast-expanding military presence is designed to fortify substantial political and economic influence. This phenomenon, fast on the rise, is already undermining the US presence and greatly influencing political institutions and strategy across a wide array of US-allied African nations, senior officials say.

The Djiboutian government is about $1.5 billion in debt to Beijing, General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander of US AFRICOM, told Congress earlier this year.

“We have strategic interest there, and the Chinese have built a base just outside our gate. So it is important that we are there, that we’re present, and the African people see our commitment to their overall desires,” Waldhauser told the House Armed Services Committee this past March. “The African continent is a very interesting question because, first of all, there they are involved primarily all over the continent, for minerals, resources, and the like.