Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chinese military bases are about more than just naval supplies and protecting trade routes

So finally it is out in the open. China will be setting up its first military base abroad in Seychelles to "seek supplies and recuperate" facilities for its navy.

The Indian Ocean island nation has defended its decision by suggesting that it has invited China to set up a military base to tackle piracy off its coast and Beijing has played it down by underlining that it is standard global practice for naval fleets to re-supply at the closest port of a nearby state during long-distance missions.

But there should be no ambiguity for the rest of the world: Chinese footprint in the Indian Ocean has gotten bigger and will continue to get bigger in the coming years.

China's foreign policy thinkers and political establishment have long been trying to convince the world that Beijing's rise is meant to be a peaceful one, that China has no expansionist intentions, that it will be a different kind of great power. Read More