China considering sending Army troops to Africa: Envoy
Beijing would consider intervening if border tensions between the two countries exploded, Kuang Weilin told the Associated Press on Friday, adding that he hoped the dispute would be “solved amicably.”
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.China is already one of the biggest contributors to UN 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 base in the country at Camp Lemonnier, its only one on the African continent.
In a front-page editorial, the People's Liberation Army Daily said the facility will increase China's abilities to maintain world peace, as it already 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 Beijing has denied that it is attempting military expansionism.