China: An aspiring global navy

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The Chinese navy will continue to increase its forays and deployments around the globe.
Beijing will put considerable effort into establishing a capable and expansive logistics network to support its increasingly global operations.
Nevertheless, given limited onshore options, China will rely heavily on supply ships to replenish its warships while at sea.
ON Nov. 26, Beijing announced its plans to establish its first overseas naval installation in the small nation of Djibouti, a strategic location on the Horn of Africa about 7,700 kilometers (4,800 miles) from China. China is growing into its role as a great power and is setting the stage for more active involvement by its military to defend Beijing’s interests abroad. To that end, China will continue to work toward establishing a capable and expansive logistics network to support its increasingly global operations.
More ships, more need
Establishing resupply and logistics points abroad is a vital component of China’s attempts to expand its global reach. China already maintains a constant naval presence in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden as part of its contribution to the UN anti-piracy mission, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry says is its primary motivation for setting up the new naval installation. Since the UN mission began in December 2008, Chinese ships have docked in Djibouti more than 50 times. The new base will provide a more comprehensive resupply point for the constant stream of warships traveling back and forth from China.
However, China’s interests and involvement abroad extend far beyond its anti-piracy efforts. For instance, the new installation could be a crucial link in its logistics chain supporting UN peacekeeping operations in Africa as well as any future Chinese interventions on the African continent. The installation in Djibouti, likely to be located at Obock on the country’s northern coast, may also extend China’s reach further into the Indian Ocean, and China could stage maritime patrol aircraft there. Indeed, Djibouti has already proved critical to Beijing. When China staged a rescue operation to remove its citizens and others from the conflict in Yemen in April, Chinese personnel took the evacuees to Djibouti. Other significant powers, including the United States, France and Japan, also maintain a presence in the country.

Read more: http://www.manilatimes.net/china-an-aspiring-global-navy/234457/

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