The United States believes China may soon have a military base in Kenya. China, through unconfirmed reports is considering setting up military bases in four African countries, Kenya included.
According to a report by the U.S Department of Defense, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania and Seychelles were mentioned among a dozen other countries where the emerging superpower wants to set base.
The document published last week was widely reported throughout the weekend, with some of the countries where the bases are to be set up denying being in such discussions with China.
Details of the alleged plans are contained in a Pentagon annual “China Military Power” report to Congress.
The countries where China is targeting to set up the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military logistics facilities include Kenya, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan, according to the report.
The Pentagon believes China and Kenya are already in talks regarding the setting up of the base but Kenya is yet to comment on the matter.
“The PRC has probably already made overtures to Namibia, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. Known focus areas of PLA planning are along the SLOCs (Sea Lines of communication) from China to the Strait of Hormuz, Africa, and the Pacific Islands,” The Pentagon reports states.
The report indicates that China’s plan is to use its new military power to achieve its foreign-policy objectives and assert itself globally.
The U.S in the recent past warned Kenya and other African nations against borrowing heavily from China to fund mega infrastructural projects, saying this could be a “trap” if they default in the loan payment.
Washington-based Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS) last year noted that China may leverage this to gain political influence and military reach.
ACSS claimed that “China’s $900 billion One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, which now helps finance 1,700 infrastructure projects in over 60 countries, is first and foremost a Chinese geopolitical project designed to advance China’s grand strategy.”
But the Kenyan government dismissed the warning, insisting that the Chinese-funded infrastructural development would bolster the country’s economy and service the debt as agreed.
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