African Army Chiefs Have Been Invited To China

Hans Spross, DW: Why has China invited African army chiefs to Beijing?

China wants to redefine its military engagement in Africa and has invited military officials from across the continent to Beijing to explore new forms of strategic cooperation.

China’s economic influence as an investor and trade partner continues to grow in Africa and new strategies are being discussed to ensure the security of Chinese business interests and investments.

Emphasizing Beijing’s strategic interest in Africa, China’s Ministry of National Defense invited high-ranking military representatives from 50 African countries to the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum. The forum began on Tuesday in Beijing and is set to run until July 10.

“Securing trade routes is important for China as Africa’s northeastern coast up to the Suez Canal is a part of the new maritime silk road, which is also a segment of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” said Cobus van Staden, a China expert at the South African Institute for International Affairs. BRI is a massive development and trade project launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping to connect China with Eurasian markets.

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WNU Editor: China sees Africa as the place to be in the next few decades …. and when it comes to the military Beijing wants the following. Bases to protect their interests, a market for their arms, and above all else …. military allies.

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