National-security 16 March 2018
China is covertly intensifying its military footprint across Africa, reports Voice of America (VOA), echoing recent comments from the top U.S. commander on the continent.
“[Chinese leader] Xi Jinping is carving out an increasingly assertive role for China on the world stage,” Peter Fabricius, a freelance journalist and a consultant at the Institute for Security Studies, an Africa-focused research group, told VOA.
The news outlet notes:
China’s security footprint in Africa has been expanding quietly alongside its deepening economic interests across the continent. Experts disagree about whether China might, in the future, protect its interests through force. But they see its presence in Africa as a testing ground for a new kind of multilayered engagement around the world.
Historically, China exerted its security presence in Africa through contributions to United Nations peacekeeping missions, Fabricius said. However, it has long used its U.N. involvement to protect its interests, he added.
VOA’s report came soon after Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. commander in Africa, told lawmakers that the United States is “carefully monitoring Chinese encroachment and emergent military presence” in Djibouti, home to Beijing’s first overseas