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India has no reason to oppose establishment of Chinese base in Djibouti: Rear Admiral

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online)    17:36, August 04, 2017

India has no reason to oppose the establishment of a Chinese base in Djibouti, as the Indian Ocean does not belong to India, said Yin Zhuo, a rear admiral in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, according to the official WeChat account of CCTV4 on Aug. 3.

The ceremony marking the entry of troops into the PLA support base in Djibouti.

The rear admiral made the statement in response to India’s discontent over China’s establishment of its first military support base overseas in Djibouti, which is a decision made by China and Djibouti after friendly negotiations.

Yin added that the establishment of the base will help China performance its international obligations regarding humanitarianism aid and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

The ceremony marking the entry of troops into the PLA support base in Djibouti was held on Aug. 1 in the base’s barracks.

China’s Central Military Commission chose a special team of 80 officers and soldiers for construction of the base on Dec. 15, 2015.

Although desert and volcanoes occupy 90 percent of the land of Djibouti, and the country is extremely short of natural resources, the team built the base in less than a year, with communication facilities and logistics support facilities basically reaching the same standards as in China, Yin noted.

As Djibouti has a unique geographical location, many countries, including the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, and Spain have bases in Djibouti.

Yin said that, although the U.S. is not used to China having bases overseas, as it will bring a certain level of political pressure, it is clear that the Chinese base will only act as a logistics supply facility rather than one for military operations.

It is obvious that the Indian Ocean does not belong to India, so any country, including China, is free to conduct its missions in the region, the rear admiral stressed.

India should welcome all countries’ participation in safeguarding the peace and stability of the region, and in achieving fruits in anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations through international cooperation, Yin added. 

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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