China's logistical support facilities in Djibouti are "essential" as the navy combats piracy, Beijing said on Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry stressed its importance in a written reply to China Daily on Thursday in response to Wednesday's media reports that "China will start work soon on a naval base in Djibouti".
Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh told Reuters in a weekend interview that China is expected to start work in Djibouti soon on a naval base.
China and Djibouti have agreed on the building of logistical support facilities in Djibouti through friendly consultation, the office said.
"China has sent escort fleets to conduct patrols in the Gulf of Aden and Somalia in recent years,'' the ministry said and highlighted the importance of facilities for crew members and energy supplies.
The support facilities will mainly be used by the Chinese military for its officers and men and to replenish ships to aid anti-piracy patrols and humanitarian assistance missions and disaster relief operations, the ministry said.
The support facilities will also help China to "better perform its international obligations and maintain international and regional peace and stability", it added.