china is in the process of building an overseas naval base in the Middle Eastern country of Djibouti. The country is located at the mouth of the Red Sea in what is called the Gulf of Aden. The Djibouti has a strategic value as it controls the waterway that leads to the Suez Canal from the Indian ocean. A strong Chinese presence in this area may affect US dominance in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

What is the main reason for China to start building overseas naval bases?

Former director of strategic research in China, Jin Yinan said that the military base in Djibouti is much needed to secure China's overseas interests.

This is the main reason for Beijing's prioritization of building such a facility on the African continent. At the moment, the primary function of the Djibouti naval base is to act as a refueling station for Chinese vessels that are close to the area.

According to reports, China is planning to build a naval base in Djibouti to accommodate its own shipping that passes through the Suez. Many are skeptical of real intentions of China over this overseas base, especially with the expansionist policy over areas like the South China Sea.

The Gulf of Aden and its surroundings are famous of piracy, especially from Somalian pirates that regularly terrorize the area. China uses this fact as one of its pretexts to build a naval base to safeguard its ships transiting the Suez Canal.

Aside from this, the Chinese government also desires to build safe zones for its vessels, mostly Chinese warships after cruising weeks and even months on end.

What is the reaction of the United States over China's overseas base building?

Camp Lemonnier is the American naval base in Djibouti. It was established a few months after the 9/11 attacks in New York.

This base is already home to 4,000 US personnel, deployed for covert activities in the Middle East.

For decades, the United States and China have monitored each other from afar, with occasional run-ins in the South China Sea. However, upon completion of the Chinese base in Djibouti, the United States and China will practically become neighbors in an arid country in the African continent.

It is among Trump's main agenda to cement ties with regional allies in the Middle East, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia. Upon Trump's official visit to Riyadh, he will bring with him a $100 billion arms deal for the oil-producing country to strengthen US-Saudi alliance. With China now in the picture, the Middle East may be up for grabs for the highest bidder.