News and Commentary

‘Setting Off Alarm Bells’: U.S. Officials Scramble As China Pushes To Build Atlantic Military Base

   DailyWire.com
Chinese tanks parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018.
MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP via Getty Images

Communist China has officials in the Biden administration scrambling as classified U.S. intelligence reportedly shows that China is pushing to build a military base on the Atlantic Ocean, which poses a major threat to U.S. national security.

“Classified American intelligence reports suggest China intends to establish its first permanent military presence on the Atlantic Ocean in the tiny Central African country of Equatorial Guinea,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “[U.S. officials] said the reports raise the prospect that Chinese warships would be able to rearm and refit opposite the East Coast of the U.S.—a threat that is setting off alarm bells at the White House and Pentagon.”

A top U.S. official reportedly visited Equatorial Guinea this fall to push the nation’s leaders to reject China’s overtures as the communist nation ramps up its aggression in the face of a weak and incompetent U.S. administration that has repeatedly botched major foreign policy decisions from Afghanistan to dealing with allies to delisting terrorist organizations.

The Journal added:

The great-power skirmishing over a country that rarely draws outside attention reflects the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. The two countries are sparring over the status of Taiwan, China’s testing of a hypersonic missile, the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.

World-wide, the U.S. finds itself maneuvering to try to block China from projecting its military power from new overseas bases, from Cambodia to the United Arab Emirates.

In Equatorial Guinea, the Chinese likely have an eye on Bata, according to a U.S. official. Bata already has a Chinese-built deep-water commercial port on the Gulf of Guinea, and excellent highways link the city to Gabon and the interior of Central Africa.

Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, told the U.S. Senate earlier this year that the “most significant threat” from China could pose to U.S. national security would be “a militarily useful naval facility on the Atlantic coast of Africa.”

“By militarily useful I mean something more than a place that they can make port calls and get gas and groceries,” he said. “I’m talking about a port where they can rearm with munitions and repair naval vessels.”

The report said that not only has the Biden administration sought to portray that aligning itself with China would be a mistake, but they have also tried to warm relations with the small African nation.

The report added:

Beijing set up its first overseas military base in 2017 in Djibouti, on the opposite side of the continent. The former French colony looks onto the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, a strategic chokepoint for shipping traffic transiting the Suez Canal. The Chinese facility has a pier capable of docking an aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines, according to U.S. Africa Command.

The base is 6 miles from the largest American base in Africa, Camp Lemonnier, home to 4,500 U.S. troops.

“China doesn’t just build a military base like the U.S.,” said Paul Nantulya, research associate at the Pentagon-funded Africa Center for Strategic Studies. “The Chinese model is very, very different. It combines civilian as well as security elements.”

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