Ships carrying Chinese military personnel depart Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province, July 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Wu Dengfeng)
China on Wednesday said the establishment of a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) support base in Djibouti is a decision made by the two countries after friendly negotiations and will be conducive to China's performance of international obligations.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a daily press briefing.
He said that in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, China has deployed vessels to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast on escort missions since 2008. During the process of escorting, Chinese officers and men encountered difficulties in replenishing food and fuel, and Djibouti offered logistical support in multiple instances.
Geng said the support base will better serve Chinese troops when they escort ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, perform humanitarian rescue, and carry out other international obligations.
Moreover, the base will be conducive to driving Djibouti's economic and social development, and assist China's contribution to peace and stability both in Africa and worldwide.
Ships carrying Chinese military personnel departed from Zhanjiang in southern China's Guangdong Province on Tuesday, heading for the support base in Djibouti.
Shen Jinlong, commander of the PLA Navy, read an order on constructing the base in Djibouti, and bestowed the military flag on the fleet.