The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that an anonymous military source told them that China plans to build a pier in the tiny East African nation of Djibouti so that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) can better run anti-piracy missions in the Arabian Sea.
The scale of the wharf should allow for the docking of a four-ship flotilla at least, including China’s new-generation Type 901 supply ship with a displacement of more than 40,000 tonnes.
The Type 901 is a nearly-800 foot long fast combat support ship, the first of which was launched in January 2016. Fast combat support ships are meant to act as oilers, ammunition resuppliers and helicopter carriers. In the US Navy, they were often placed in carrier strike groups to support aircraft carriers.
When the Chinese military base in Djibouti opened in mid-2016, it became the first-ever overseas PLA-N military base. The 200-acre base, which cost $590 million to construct, joins similar permanent military installations in Djibouti built by the US Navy (Camp Lemonnier) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Djibouti and Yemen are the only countries to border both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden — and unlike the war-torn Arabian state, Djibouti is politically stable, with a continuous central government since they gained independence from France in 1977.
The foreign military bases are tremendously beneficial to the Djibouti economy, as the government is paid $63 million annually by the US in rent, and another $100 million by China. Djibouti has an GDP of about $3.7 billion.
Sputnik / AA Magnum Analyst Blog News 2018.