China Military Setting Up Shop Just A Few Miles From U.S. Base

By James Holbrooks

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on the fact that China is building its first ever overseas military base.

“A low-rise encampment built adjacent to a new Chinese-owned commercial port,” the Times wrote, “the 90-acre base is designed to house up to several thousand troops and will include storage structures for weapons, repair facilities for ships and helicopters, and five berths for commercial ships and one for military vessels.”

But the fact that China is building a military base overseas isn’t the real story. The real issue is where the base is being constructed — just a few miles down the road from a U.S. installation in Djibouti, a tiny country in the Horn of Africa.

“It’s like having a rival football team using an adjacent practice field,” Gabriel Collins, a Chinese military expert, told the Times. “They can scope out some of your plays.”

Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. base established after 9/11, is home to 4,000 military personnel and is often employed for covert operations, including targeted drone strikes in the Middle East.

As highlighted by The Diplomat, “The thrust of the Times’ look at China’s upcoming facility in Djibouti is the broader effect it could have on the United States’ presence in the country.”

What’s meant, of course, is the U.S. military presence in the country. And the “broader effect” the Times wants its readers to consider is, quite clearly, all-out war with China. This, for instance, is how the piece opened:

The two countries keep dozens of intercontinental nuclear missiles pointed at each other’s cities. Their frigates and fighter jets occasionally face off in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

With no shared border, China and the United States mostly circle each other from afar, relying on satellites and cybersnooping to peek inside the workings of each other’s war machines.

Another analyst took a more level-headed approach to analyzing the development, however, and in doing so pointed out that news like this — and the manner in which the Times reported on it — plays directly into the hands of warmongers.

That analyst was Dr. Ron Paul.

On the Ron Paul Liberty Report on Tuesday, the former congressman and presidential candidate, along with his former advisor and now-executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel McAdams, took a closer look at what might really be going on in Djibouti.

“The people who want to really paint it in a bad light,” Dr. Paul said Tuesday, will claim China is about to “put nuclear missiles” at the under-construction base. “I don’t think that’s their purpose.”

Without question, Djibouti is a strategically important region for China. Half of the country’s oil imports pass through the Mandeb Strait, a waterway chokepoint right off the coast of Djibouti. That straight connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

China claims, as it continually has, that the new naval base will be mostly used for combating piracy and providing security for its traveling citizens.

“The support facility will be mainly used to provide rest and rehabilitation for the Chinese troops taking part in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, U.N. peacekeeping and humanitarian rescue,” China’s Defense Ministry told the New York Times in a written response to questions.

The current strategic importance of Djibouti for the U.S. is — for those who have been paying attention — quite obvious. Noting the tiny nation’s coastline, Dr. Paul pointed out that “The distance between that and Yemen is a total of 18 miles. And that’s why we’re there.”

Since 2015, the U.S. has been supporting ally Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen as the Saudis attempt to wipe out allegedly Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The humanitarian crisis now taking place in the North African country has many analysts comparing it to the situation in war-torn Syria.

While doubting the Chinese motivation for building a naval base in such close proximity to a U.S. installation is rooted in an attempt to militarily provoke the United States, Dr. Paul conceded there may be a little bit of muscle flexing going on.

“I would think the Chinese government, because they get bashed a bit from our policies — you know, China is rigging their currencies and they’re bad people and their building islands — they’re on the receiving end,” Dr. Paul said. “Maybe they just feel like [they] ought to just express themselves, and this is convenient for them and they can use it. So it’s to show they’re not a bunch of pussycats.”

Bringing the conversation back to the notion of crafting news items to fit political agendas, Daniel McAdams stated:

And, of course, the neocon interventionists love stories like this because it feeds into their desire, their need, to have an enemy figure overseas.

Continuing, he cited the Times article directly:

And this is how the New York Times put it. I think this captures the interventionist perspective. The Chinese base’s construction ‘is a milestone marking Beijing’s expanding global ambitions.’

Dr. Paul chuckled at this, to which McAdams replied, “One base overseas is the only one they have. And how many do we have? 800.”

Noting that President Trump just recently outlined his plan for one of the “greatest military buildups in American history,” McAdams also pointed out how such news items work for the war machine itself.

“This is also a big windfall for the military-industrial complex,” he said, “because it’ll be used as an excuse.”

Agreeing, Dr. Paul lamented that a growing coalition of pro-war factions from both sides of the aisle are making continuous warfare under Trump all the more likely, and that those against this potentiality should unite.

“We have to get together, who are anti-imperialistic,” said Dr. Paul. “Because the coalition against us, they don’t agree on all the economic issues. Matter fact, they just come together for one thing — to be pro-war. We need to build a coalition against this senseless war that continues to go on. So, right now, I am not all that optimistic that the troops will be coming home soon.”

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8 Comments on "China Military Setting Up Shop Just A Few Miles From U.S. Base"

  1. AND… the war with Yemen (we’re at war with Yemen?) just hotted up with 20 airstrikes overnight. Looks like the new president is just like the old president. War war war.

  2. Psychic Warrior | March 3, 2017 at 7:10 am | Reply

    Once again the dupes that operate the monitoring of this articles comments have time censored my accurate comment about the stupidity of our foreign policy. These monitors have nothing better to do than to disrupt logical thinking and the proper counseling that a citizen like myself has to offer to my fellow countrymen who need not be taken in by the actions of obsolete politicians and their handlers.

  3. The US of A has 1,000 bases overseas and the US military is so upset with one China base. one question: Why the frell is the US military there anyhow

    • ….because we are the military wing for the Elite banker cartel. Before us, it was England which is why the sun used to never set on the British Empire. Our peasant armies secure the international drug routes, resources, and enforce a Rothschild Central bank upon the world for the cartel.

  4. This base is just another nail in the coffin of the full spectrum dominance policy! I hope the wise people in the US are now starting to realize that such a policy today is a fairy tale!

  5. Chris Walker | March 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Reply

    When the Amorican empire collapses (and it will sooner or later), the rest of the world will just shake their heads and say “I told you so”…

  6. Yvonne Forsman | March 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    Other countries military bases in Djibouti: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan. So China is one of seven foreign countries having their military presence there. Btw, Japan has only one overseas military base and it is there, in Djibouti. So why do countries want to be present there? B/c lots of merchandise travels on ships thru the Suez Canal and Somali ship pirates are south of Djibouti, operating in that area, and b/c Yemen is right opposite, on the other side of the canal and there is a war going on between Yemen and Saudi Arabia where our oil comes from. A lot of stuff is going on in that area. China is now a modern nation and has the world’s largest population: 1.3 B ppl. We better start counting with the Chinese having presence everywhere and in everything.

  7. Since China and the USA are controlled by the same interests, they may as well have a joint base.

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