STUTTGART, Germany — One year after the U.S. reached a long-term deal to extend its lease of a critical base in the tiny Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, China is reported in talks to establish a military outpost in the strategic country.
Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh told the Agence France-Presse news agency that talks were underway with the Chinese for a new military base, saying China would be a welcome addition to the growing international military presence in Djibouti.
“France’s presence is old, and the Americans found that the position of Djibouti could help in the fight against terrorism in the region,” Guelleh told the news agency. “The Japanese want to protect themselves from piracy, and now the Chinese also want to protect their interests, and they are welcome.”
China declined to confirm to reporters whether Beijing intends to set up a base in Djibouti, which also hosts the U.S. military’s Camp Lemonnier, a hub for regional counterterrorism activities.