(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) Djibouti — China is the rising world power. This much is clear, but nowhere is that reality felt more than behind closed doors in Washington, D.C. The global hegemony of the United States is being challenged, and the contest is perfectly encapsulated in what’s happening now in the small African nation of Djibouti.
Strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal, Djibouti is home to both U.S. and Chinese military bases, and the two are only miles apart. The U.S. base houses around 4,000 military personnel and is used as a launching pad for operations in Yemen and Somalia.
On Tuesday, Reuters highlighted how the situation at a key port in Djibouti has U.S. officials worrying over China’s growing reach:
“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.”
It also described the reaction in Washington at a session of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee:
“During a U.S. 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.”
Speaking before lawmakers, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. commander in Africa, warned that the military’s ability to resupply and refuel ships would be greatly affected if China restricted access to the port:
“If the Chinese took over that port, then the consequences could be significant.”
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…