Why India Must Build a Military Base in Djibouti to Counter China


Indian government has been reframing its foreign policy. The current government is bringing in policies which include Indian military presence on foreign soil. The newest developments come from President Ramnath Kovind’s recent visit to the small African Nation of Djibouti. India is keen to deter the increasing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean and Africa. So to achieve its objectives India has decided build bases and military installations offshore its own territory.

Djibouti sponsors a large number of foreign military and naval bases. America has the largest installations here. The small nation on the Horn of Africa is situated on a very strategic choke point. The sea route from Asia to Europe passes through it. There is no other way to cross the Suez Canal then to pass the dangerous waters of the Red sea.

India has been carrying out patrolling and rescue operations in this region since a long time now. This area is world famous for the notorious Somalian Pirates.

A captured Somalian pirate ship

India signed LEMOA with the United States which provides access to the military bases of both the nations to each other for refuelling and maintenance. But India needs a permanent base not only to safeguard its trade interests but also to deter the growing Chinese influence in Africa.

India has ties with Africa dating back to thousands of years. It is friendly to most of the African nations and has cultural and economic ties with them. But the Chinese entry has turned the tables against India.

China has been trying to increase its ties with the African nations realising the future potentials of the Dark Continent, not only the Chinese are building infrastructure and market but also military outpost. The newest was built in Djibouti only, increasing the tensions between the United States and Beijing.

chinese submarine in the indian ocean

Uncle Sam has already made it clear that it want to move out of Afghanistan and want India to take over. Very soon a situation may arise when the United States may decide to move out of Middle East and Africa. In such a situation a vacuum of power will be created. The US has no intention of allowing China to fill this gap.

Even most of the African and middle eastern countries realize that china is not a trustworthy power. They would look for a more liberal and democratic powers like India to fill this gap. Afghanistan has become a proof of this. The Afghani people do not want US or China. They want India.

But in order to take advantage of such a situation and save these nations to become a satellite state of China like Pakistan. India would have to make its presence felt. It would have to show off the power which it has. The African and Middle Eastern people will definitely choose India over china because of their cultural and historical ties with India and its democratic values.

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