WSJ report on China’s military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast ‘not true,’ says Chinese military expert
Published: Dec 06, 2021 10:35 PM
 A view of the Pentagon. Photo: VCG

A view of the Pentagon. Photo: VCG

The report on China's plan to establish its first permanent military base in the Atlantic Ocean is not true and is the latest move of the US to hype the China threat, Chinese military experts said in response to a Wall Street Journal report, which cited US officials as saying China intends to set up a military base in the African country of Equatorial Guinea. 

The Wall Street Journal report, which was released on Sunday, claimed that US officials declined to describe in details of the "secret intelligence findings" but said "the reports raise the prospect that Chinese warships would be able to rearm and refit opposite the East Coast of the US," which is a threat that is setting off alarm bells in the White House and Pentagon.

It is not rare to see the US "disclose information" on China building an overseas military base and hype the "China threat." Previous reports, citing US intelligence, claimed that China was building or intended to build military bases in Sri Lanka, the border area of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Argentina, and Abu Dhabi. 

But the fact is China has only one overseas support base, which is in Djibouti and is also China's first overseas base. The base was built and put into operation in August, and in November 26, 2015, China's Ministry of National Defense had announced its negotiations with Djibouti on building a support facility. This means that if China is going to build its second overseas base, it will release information openly and in advance, analysts said. 

An anonymous military expert told the Global Times that the Wall Street Journal article is not true. The US has frequently hyped information about China building overseas military bases to bloat the "China threat" theory, said the expert, noting that the US is encircling China on multiple fronts, be they politics, economy or military. 

Even if China plans to build an overseas support base, it would not be comparable with the US, which owns nearly 800 military bases in more than 80 countries. It is normal for China to build a support base somewhere out of humanitarian rescue reasons, said the expert. 

The Djibouti base has played a role in humanitarian rescue in places such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

China has dispatched naval escort fleets to Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia since December 2008, completing more than 1,500 escorting tasks, media reported.