'China base' in West Africa changes geostrategic calculus: US AFRICOM
The US has its eyes on China even more with its presence in Africa, warning against a shift in the geostrategic equation.
The United States Africa Command issued a warning on Thursday, saying that if China were reportedly successful in setting up a military facility in West Africa, it would fundamentally alter the geostrategic equation governing the country's defense.
AFRICOM Commander Gen. Michael Langley warned during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that "they would change the whole calculus of the geostrategic global campaign plans of protecting the homeland. If they build any capacity on the west coast, geostrategically [it] will put them at an advantage."
Langley said, "Right now we have a clear advantage... we can't let them have a base on the west coast because it will change the dynamics," suggesting that China might want to militarize the Port of Doraleh in Djibouti.
When asked if the US needed to prevent China from reportedly taking control of the port in South Africa, he responded in the positive."Because as we look at the Cape of Good Hope, and look at how much transit that our commerce goes across, it [can] also be a power projection point as well, so we can ill afford from a geostrategic position to allow either the PRC or even Russia to use that as a platform," he stated.
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During the same hearing, US Central Command commander Gen. Michael Kurilla voiced concern about China's penetration in the Middle East following the country's recent involvement in mediating a historic rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
China already has economic, informational, and military influence in the area in terms of national instruments of power, and "now we're seeing for the first time their diplomatic" clout, according to Kurilla.
Moreover, Chinese influence continues to grow across the Middle East, making it "unavoidable" according to a new analysis featured in ModernDiplomacy (MD), an international magazine that characterizes itself as a "leading European opinion-maker."
As part of the argument that China became highly influential across Asia and Africa, the MD piece set the premise that China played a role in Middle East affairs, as shown in the most recent and successful Iran-Saudi agreement, as well as the approach to show interest in mediating the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" seeking a two-state solution.
These premises dictate that China had remained neutral vis-a-vis all of the Middle East's conflicts, given that China's approach to international relations had been grounded in economic development and stability.
According to MD, "China lacks the motivation to break down the security and political structure of the Middle East led by the United States." These global positions and efforts have "secured Chinese credibility in the region."
It is worth noting that MD wrote that China is "not in competition with the United States." This came at a time when the Middle East's relations with the US had been "filled with friction in recent years."