Africa, Analysis, Side Feature

China opens first overseas base in Djibouti

China has formally opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti with a flag raising ceremony and military parade.

More than 300 people attended Tuesday’s ceremony, including deputy Chinese naval commander Tian Zhong and Djibouti’s defence minister, according to state media.

The event was timed to coincide with the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, on August 1.

China began constructing a base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

Home to only around 800,000 people, Djibouti also hosts troops from US, France and Japan.

Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India.

Officials there are concerned that China is encircling India with a string of military alliances, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Djibouti marks China’s first overseas naval base, though Beijing officially describes it as a logistics facility.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation programme, including developing capabilities for China’s forces to operate far from home.

In Beijing, Xi told government leaders and PLA members that the Chinese people “treasure peace and we absolutely do not engage in invasion and expansion”.

“However, we have the confidence to conquer all forms of invasion,” he said in a speech to mark the founding of the PLA.

Djibouti is a tiny barren nation sandwiched between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. It is at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

China’s agreement with Djibouti ensures its military presence in the country up until 2026, with a contingent of up to 10,000 soldiers, according to The Diplomat magazine.

Beijing has made extensive infrastructure investments throughout the African continent as it seeks to gain access to natural resources and new markets.

Chinese banks have been major funders of at least 14 such projects in Djibouti, valued at $14.4bn in total, including a railway line that will halve transit times from Djibouti to Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa. Source: News agencies



China has come a long way, since embarking on its capitalist journey steered by Deng Xiaoping. Transforming a once poor and agrarian country into a modern ‘workshop for the world’ producing just about everything the west is capable of and more. It has a global presence and has now embarked on projecting its military capabilities across the world. With their own technologies and home-produced weapons, China has followed the path of the western colonisers, establishing military bases on foreign soil, to safeguard the interest of its nation and people.

Contrast this with our own governments, such as Saudi Arabia, it too seeks to project its military capabilities, but not to protect the interests of the Islamic Ummah nor that of Islam. It and the governments that follow it, work alongside and in support of, the agenda of the Jewish entity and the enemies of Islam. So we see them isolate the Muslims of Qatar, bombing and besieging thousands of Believers in Yemen.

More shamefully, these corrupt rulers cause murder and mayhem with death machines and equipment they purchase from the west. Thus they enrich their western masters whilst implementing the western agenda causing mischief and misery to the Islamic Ummah.

Despite all the wealth and abundance Allah (swt) has blessed the land with, it has not brought these rulers any closer to Islam. Have they forgotten Allah’s multiple examples, of other proud and haughty peoples whom Allah (swt) had destroyed.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُم مِّنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِي تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنتُمْ وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ

“O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.”


The rulers from Najd and their friends have forgotten, that they should fear Allah (swt) alone, their duty is to protect the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ, the Ummah they claim to belong to. They should rather carry the agenda of Islam, return to the rule of Islam and use their weapons and military to liberate Palestine, protect and unite the Muslim lands.


Mohammad Hamzah