China may pose an increasing threat not only from the Pacific, but also from the Atlantic, according to the top US general in charge of Africa. General Stephen Townsend, chief of US Africa Command, has just testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, sounding the alarm about China’s growing presence in the region.
From Mauritania in the north to Namibia in the south, Townsend claims the People’s Liberation Army Navy is scouting places on Africa’s west coast for a naval base. Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is China’s only offshore military post. The facility is close to some of the busiest shipping routes in the world and also a major check point for the whole region.
In last few years, Africa gain a lot of traction because of its strategic location; most of the nations are trying to find new allies or new military bases in or around the African continent. China has set its eyes to the Atlantic islands, particularly Terceira, one of the Azores. There is a harbour and, of far greater relevance, Air Base No. 4 on that island, which is part of Portugal. The station, also known as Lajes Field, is jointly operated by the United States Air Force and its Portuguese counterpart.
Biden administration is also viewing China’s fast rising economic and military prowess as the USA’s most Challenging security threat on the global platforms. Townsend’s warnings come as the Pentagon switches its attention from the last two decades’ counter-terrorism wars to the Indo-Pacific area and dangers posed by great power foes such as China and Russia.