Djibouti is the new base for great power. This former French colony has thought of the best and quickest way to make money. It simply rents out parts of the desert to any power- nation who is willing to pay. The Americans have a base there and now they should be worried. They have competition in the form of a Chinese military base. This is the first Chinese overseas base, Al Jazeera News Channel reported.

On Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang announced that the base is operational and Chinese naval ships will carry out patrolling and anti-piracy missions in the region.

It will help meet China's international obligations in conducting “escorting missions and humanitarian aid."

The dragon and Djibouti

The Dragon has entered Arica in a big way. There are over a million Chinese working on various projects in Africa and this base will add muscle to Chinese expansion in the region.The French, U.S., and Japanese already have a presence in Djibouti and now China has joined them. Djibouti's occupies a strategic position on the tip of the Horn of Africa and controls access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The strait is only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point. It connects the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Its strategic importance cannot be underestimated.

US vs. China

The U.S. will be worried about the Chinese presence. America has recognized the importance of this base and in a joint statement during the visit of General Mattis and Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of Pentagon's Africa Command, said that the U.S.

garrison at U.S. Camp Lemonnier is "very, very important". They were referring to the projection of American power in the region. The U.S. military maintains over 4,000 troops at the base which is on a 10-year lease. Air operations are also launched from this base.

China in Africa

China has made a substantial investment in Djibouti.

It has invested over $500 million to build the Djibouti portion of a railway line to the capital Adis Ababa in neighboring Ethiopia. The Chinese may maintain about 10,000 troops and two warships at this base. Two warships of the Chinese navy with an unspecified number of troops have already left China and are on the way to Djibouti.The activation of the base is a direct threat to U.S. operations and the Indian Navy which, along with the U.S. Navy, dominates the Indian Ocean and Arabian sea.