Mustafa AY – TDO – 13.07.2017 China has just opened up military base in the most strategic region, that is Djibouti. By the virtue of having coast to the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti manages to monitor the gulf traffic. Since Djibouti has hosted the biggest harbor of East Africa, both cargo vessels and naval forces of NATO countries frequently anchor to the port, which makes Djibouti very important. Especially NATO naval fleet commissioned to Gulf of Aden under “Operation of Ocean Shield” utilizes from the facilities like food and fuel supplies. That’s why, its military importance prevails more in comparison to its civil importance. NATO fleet, comprising of mixture of different NATO countries vessels, has been assigned to execute combat against slave/human, drug and endangered animal species smuggling, as well as fighting against Somalian Pirates. Djibouti aids NATO’s cause with the facilities by increasing its yieldance against illicit transactions in the region. Briefly, through Djibouti Harbor, NATO can maintain security of the Gulf of Aden.

It is evident NATO seized the grip of the Gulf of Aden, with its abundant military vessels. Owing to Djibouti’s current status as an impoverished country, Djibouti can’t allocate budget to its naval forces, which has not already existed. For this reason, it has no capability of eliminating and even hindering NATO’s consolidated domination on the Gulf. Djibouti owes its survival to NATO member countries (particularly USA and France) humanitarian aid and little amounts of monetary grants. This situation makes Djibouti away from self-sufficiency and dependable on the steady aids from those countries. That’s why, NATO countries influence on the region reached its peak. However, as opposed to France and USA’s domination, China has just opened military base with the aim of undermining and even ending those countries military and political status quo. With the base, China will be able to conduct its own operations and follow its territorial strategy, despite NATO’s presence.

Chinese government’s remarks on “we promise that we will invest in Africa” lead its military initiative to be accomplished. Following China’s promising investment of 60 billion Dollars’ worth in Africa, many impoverished African countries drew their attention to China so that they can acquire the lion’s share. As a result of warm relationship with China, Djibouti seems to succeed in attainment of the lion’s share. To give an example to the investment, China constructed railway between Djibouti and Ethiopia. Many Africans assumes this railway will help the economic development in both destinations. Besides the construction of railway, China, in a sense, assisted those countries by granting train to those countries without any charge. China is aware of this investment’s importance in terms of those countries. It is considerably vital on the grounds that building railway and purchasing train would exceed both countries budget. Therefore, Chinese military initiative may serve for its future plan to the continent that is expansionist policies.