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Unnecessary hoopla over bases

Updated: 2016-04-21 07:23
(China Daily)

Unnecessary hoopla over bases

Chinese and US navy officers pose on Dec 13 in a "shaka" gesture, a Hawaiian way to say "hello", onboard the PLA Navy's Ji'nan flagship. From left: Captain Stanley Keeve; Defense Attach Major General Xu Nanfeng from the Chinese Embassy in the US; Commander Wang Jianxun; Political Commissar Ye Jianlin; Captain Kevin Brand; and Senior Captain He Bing. [Photo/China Daily]

China's efforts to build some strategic support bases overseas have drawn the attention of the international community. The construction of logistics facilities in Djibouti, in particular, has caused serious anxiety among the US-led Western countries, and some have expressed concerns over the establishment of such a "naval base" by China in the East African country.

China's navy has actually kept a low profile around the world. Its presence cannot be compared to that of the United States, which has military bases distributed throughout the world. However, because of this, the Chinese navy cannot effectively protect China's economic interests, which now extend across the world. Hence, its efforts to establish some strategic strongholds overseas are not only necessary for it to safeguard its overseas interests, but also essential for China to actively fulfill its international responsibilities and obligations as a responsible power.

The completion of the logistics facilities in the port of Djibouti will help China's navy more effectively undertake such missions as fighting pirates, conducting rescue and relief operations and transporting refugees. Their construction will also enable Chinese warplanes to play a bigger role in peacekeeping missions in conflict-stricken areas in the Middle East and Africa.

The establishment of supporting strategic bases in southern Asia will also enable Chinese vessels bound for the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea to bypass Malacca for effective replenishment and maintenance. Given that 75 percent of China's oil and other strategic materials are transported via Malacca, to successfully bypass the Malacca gateway will to a large extent lower the risks associated with the transportation of essential resources to China.

The building of overseas bases is a move that will enable China to safeguard its national interests and make more contributions to world development, it should not be viewed as a sign Beijing intends to challenge the US-led Western establishments.--Beijing News

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