16:24 GMT09 April 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Chinese military base in Djibouti provides an opportunity to work with the nearby US military base on issues such as humanitarian medical relief, even as the US closely monitors China’s likely counterintelligence activities in the African port, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) head Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said on Tuesday.

    "We are not naïve to think that some of the activities the Chinese are doing in terms of counterintelligence are taking place, but it just means that we have to be cautious," Waldhauser told the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. "However, because but it’s under the rubric or the framework of our overall national strategy, there are opportunities [for cooperation] on the medical side, there are opportunities training wise."

    Waldhauser noted that China has about 2,500 peacekeepers in Africa and that their base is "right there, right next door to us."

    AFRICOM is working with the Defense Secretary and the State Department to develop ways the United States and China can work together, Waldhauser said.

    READ MORE: China Unlikely to Match India Strength in Indian Ocean in Near Future — Analysts

    Waldhauser also said that China plans to establish additional bases in Africa on the continent’s eastern coast because the region ties into the Beijing’s "One Belt, One Road" concept.

    The Chinese infrastructure plan aims to establish highway links along corridors linking Europe and Asia, however, the initiative also extends to eastern Africa, according to published reports.


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