A top US General is sounding the alarm over China's efforts to expand its interests in Africa and establish more military bases in the region.
In brief remarks, General Stephen Townsend, the outgoing commander of Africom, said China is increasing its influence in the region through "development and economic measures with a desire to establish more military bases on the continent."
General Townsend adds that he suspects China is looking to establish a military base on Africa's Atlantic coast, possibly in Equatorial Guinea, which he says would become a "security challenge for the United States." The General says "We haven't asked Equatorial Guinea to choose between us … or China. What we're doing is we're trying to convince them that it's in their interest to stay partnered with all of us, and not choose one over the other."
Currently China has a military base in Djibouti that houses roughly 2,000 soldiers and is close to a US military base, Camp Lemonnier. The base recently underwent renovations and expanded, adding additional infrastructure including a large pier that can park two aircraft carriers from China's naval fleet.
This comes as the White House released a new document today detailing its sub-Sahara strategy that aims to prop up African countries and counter Chinese and Russian influence in the region.