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PLA outpost in Djibouti starts infrastructure construction

Updated: 2016-02-25 18:28
By Zhang Yunbi (chinadaily.com.cn)

The Ministry of National Defense has confirmed the start of infrastructure construction of the People's Liberation Army's first overseas support facilities in Djibouti.

"Currently, the construction of infrastructure of the support facilities has started, and the Chinese side has dispatched part of the personnel to Djibouti for relevant works," ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a regular news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Djibouti is a pivotal country in the Horn of Africa standing between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It is a key transfer stop for international humanitarian missions, including those of the United Nations.

Military bases and support facilities for countries, including the United States and France, have long been based in Djibouti.

Last December, the Ministry of National Defense confirmed that, through consultation between China and Djibouti, a consensus was reached on China building support facilities in Djibouti.

Wu told reporters that the facilities will mainly be used for logistic support and the reorganization of those conducting escort, peacekeeping and humanitarian relief missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters near Somalia.

Djibouti's strategic importance and logistical convenience were highlighted last year when Chinese citizens evacuated from Yemen transited there.

While meeting with the president of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh in Johannesburg in last December, President Xi Jinping said China appreciated Djibouti's help in supporting Chinese peacekeeping fleets and in evacuating Chinese citizens from Yemen.

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