Last week, China’s Ministry of Defense confirmed for the first time that construction on “support facilities” for the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, has started. Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Chinese defense ministry, said on Thursday that “construction of infrastructure for the support facilities has started, and the Chinese side has dispatched personnel to Djibouti for relevant work.” China has been careful to avoid describing its facility in Djibouti as a “military” or “naval” base, preferring to use the terms “support facilities” or “logistical facilities” instead. Djibouti hosts military and support facilities for the United States, France, and even Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces.
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