“Naval base in Equatorial Guinea facing China and the US”… G2, this time a military competition in the dark

WSJ “Promotion of securing the first permanent base overseas”… The port-highway has already been built… training support
US dispatches security personnel in October to block the base… Xi Jinping “All Support for Equatorial Guinea’s Development”
Call the President of China and block US intrusion… US authorities say China’s navy in the Atlantic is a serious threat

Reports have emerged that China is pushing to build a naval base in Equatorial Guinea, a small African country facing the Atlantic Ocean from major cities in the eastern United States, such as Washington and New York. Amid the prospect that if China builds a base here, it could pose a serious military threat to the United States, the ‘G2’ United States and China are engaged in a fierce diplomatic battle to attract Equatorial Guinea as a friendly force, respectively. The two countries, which have been in sharp confrontation over the Taiwan issue, have faced each other again over the naval base issue.

On the 5th, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing US administration officials, reported that “China is seeking to secure its first resident military base overseas in Equatorial Guinea in Africa.” did. Earlier, in 2017, China built its first overseas military base in Djibouti, East Africa, but it was not a permanent base where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army stayed all year.

According to the WSJ, China is looking to build a permanent military base in Equatorial Guinea in Bata, the largest city on the mainland of Equatorial Guinea. Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, is located on the island of Bioko in the Atlantic Ocean, off the mainland. China has already built a port in Bata for large ships to enter and exit, and even built a highway connecting Bata and Equatorial Guinea, such as Gabon, a neighboring country. China is also supporting the training and arming of Equatorial Guinea police. This is the expansion of the One Belt, One Road project, which China has been focusing on in Africa, into a military strategy.

As China’s establishment of a base in Equatorial Guinea poses a threat to U.S. security, the U.S. is trying to block China’s plans by contacting Equatorial Guinea. On October 18, White House Deputy National Security Advisor John Finer met with Equatorial Guinea President Theodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has been in office since 1979, and his son, Vice President Theodoro Nguema Obiang Mange. “We have clearly informed Equatorial Guinea that certain measures, including China’s move, could pose national security concerns,” a US government official told the WSJ. Then, on October 27, Chinese President Xi Jinping called Obiang directly. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the two leaders at the time confirmed mutual trust and China promised to provide all possible support for the development of Equatorial Guinea.

U.S. intelligence agencies are said to have been monitoring China’s construction of military bases in Equatorial Guinea since 2019. “The greatest threat from China is the establishment of Chinese naval installations on the Atlantic coast,” said Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, at a Senate hearing in April.

Equatorial Guinea was formerly a Spanish colony and gained independence in 1968. Although it is a presidential system, President Obiang has been in power since 1979, and it is known that his son, Vice President Obiang Mange, is working to take over the power. The US State Department has criticized the Ovian regime for committing extrajudicial murders, enforced disappearances, torture and human rights violations.

The WSJ reported that “the clash between the US and China over Equatorial Guinea, which has been out of the public interest, reflects the extreme level of tension between the two countries.”

Beijing = Correspondent Ki-yong Kim [email protected]

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