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09:10 AM, January 10, 2019
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Chinese Djibouti military base (image: China Daily)

China is considering setting up new overseas military bases to provide logistical support to Chinese units operating overseas, a senior People's Liberation Army (PLA) strategist said Thursday.

“It is possible for China to build new overseas support facilities depending on two factors- the new base should help China better fulfil missions given by the United Nations; Second, it depends on the approval of the nation where the new base will be located,” China Daily quoted Lieutenant General He Lei, former vice-president of the PLA Academy of Military Science as saying during a Beijing news conference hosted by the State Council Information Office.

“The main role of a Chinese overseas base is to provide logistical support to Chinese units operating overseas and not to field Chinese military forces in other countries, so people should not over-interpret this matter,” he added.

Chinese military base in the Djibouti City located in the Horn of Africa is tasked with supporting the Chinese military's naval escort, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in Africa and western Asia, enabling the nation to better protect the safety of international strategic maritime passages with other countries, the newspaper quoted PLA Navy as saying Thursday.

It is expected to help China improve its capabilities in international military cooperation, joint exercises, emergency evacuations and overseas rescues, according to the Navy.

"The Djibouti base is helpful to the Chinese Navy's escort mission requested by the UN, An overseas base can conveniently resupply ships with fresh food and fuel. It also facilitates logistical work," Senior Captain Zhang Junshe, researcher at the PLA Naval Research Academy said during the conference.

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