‘Significant’ consequences if China takes key port in Djibouti: U.S. general

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‘Significant’ consequences if China takes key port in Djibouti: U.S. general

March 6, 2018| Arlaadi Online

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. general for Africa told lawmakers on Tuesday that the American military could face “significant” consequences should China take a key port in Djibouti, as Beijing becomes increasingly muscular in Africa in an effort to expand its influence.

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FILE PHOTO – Djibouti and Chinese national flags are seen in front of the portrait of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square, ahead of a welcoming ceremony for Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, in Beijing, China November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Last month, Djibouti ended its contract with Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, citing failure to resolve a dispute that began in 2012.

DP World called the move an illegal seizure of the terminal and said it had begun new arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration.

During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, which was dominated by concerns about China’s role in Africa, lawmakers said they had seen reports that Djibouti seized control of the port to give it to China as a gift. China has already built a military base in Djibouti, just miles from a critical U.S. military base.

“If this was an illegal seizure of that port, what is to say that government wouldn’t illegally terminate our lease before its term is up,” said Representative Bradley Byrne, a Republican.

In a letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Byrne said he was concerned about China’s influence in Djibouti and the impact it would have on U.S. military and intelligence assets.

Djibouti is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal. Read more ‘Significant’ consequences if China takes key port in Djibouti: U.S. general

Source: Reuters 

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