• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Naval Race Heats Up as China Seeks to Establish Bases in Africa’s Western Coast

ByEditor

Feb 11, 2024
China-US tensions move beyond Asia and America as new front emerges

As a journalist, I have rewritten the given article to present it as a new and unique piece.

The Atlantic Ocean has long been perceived as a strategic front yard by the United States, making any permanent Chinese military presence there a serious threat to US security. Despite this perception, China has been conducting a campaign to establish naval bases on Africa’s western coast, which has caused concern among US officials. In response, the US has been working with African leaders to prevent such a fleet from settling in the Atlantic Ocean.

A recent development in this regard is that the US and Gabon are currently negotiating a security cooperation agreement, with plans for U.S. training to help Gabon secure its borders. Meanwhile, in Equatorial Guinea, the US has flagged Chinese efforts to establish a base, with Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador in Washington stating that China has provided military equipment and training, as well as infrastructure.

Despite China’s naval ships passing freely in international waters and Chinese companies building around 100 commercial ports in Africa since 2000, only one African port serves as a permanent base for Chinese ships and troops: Djibouti’s seven-year-old facility. The Biden administration is expected to find a way to legally provide incentives to thwart China’s military ambitions. US officials are closely monitoring the situation to see where the Chinese will turn next.

In addition to security cooperation with Gabon, the US is also hosting Gabon in U.S.-led West and Central Africa naval exercises, intended to help coastal states fight piracy and illegal fishing. This is part of the US’s ongoing efforts to counter the influence of the Chinese army in the Atlantic Ocean and prevent Chinese military bases in African countries with coastal access.

Overall, it seems clear that tensions between China and the United States are continuing to escalate over territorial claims in Africa and beyond. As such, it will be interesting

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