15:25 GMT +307 December 2019
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    An aerial view of Djibouti

    Chinese Military Holds Live-Fire Drills at its First Overseas Base

    © AFP 2019 / Jacques Demarthon
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    China opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti in August.

    The Chinese military has announced live-fire drills conducted at its base in Djibouti, with tank destroyers and infantry vehicles taking part in the maneuvers and firing dozens of shells.

    According to China Daily citing the commander of the base, Liang Yang, the exercises are aimed at verifying "the combat capability of troops and their weapons and to improve their adaptability in the local environment."

    The military drills took place in the wake of Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh's visit to Beijing, during which he met Prime Minister Li Keqiang who called the nation a major Chinese partner in east Africa.

    READ MORE: Best Birthday Gift: Why China Marks Army Anniversary With Djibouti Base Opening

    China opened its first overseas military base on August 1, 2017, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa after the country's Defense Ministry officially announced the establishment of a naval logistics center and sent its military personnel there.

    In this Tuesday, July 11, 2017, photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a ship carrying Chinese military personnel departs a port in Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province. China on Tuesday dispatched members of its People's Liberation Army to the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti to man the rising Asian giant's first overseas military base, a key part of a wide-ranging expansion of the role of China's armed forces.
    China Djibouti Military Base

    The center is designed to be used by the Chinese patrol boats in the Gulf of Aden and other areas and serve as a supplies center and a recreation facility for sailors, according to Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian.

    Djibouti, which is located on the Horn of Africa and borders Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, is plagued by piracy, while Beijing has been actively participating in anti-piracy measures in the region.

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    military drills, Djibouti, China
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