On December 30, Chinese military forces stationed in Djibouti conducted a fire exercise for the first time in the desert areas of the interior, employing war munitions and deploying armored vehicles and infantry units.
The activities, coordinated under the supervision of the commander of the Chinese units stationed in Djibouti, Col. Sup. Liang Yang, lasted an entire day and was described as a success by the local spokesman of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
News of the exercise has caused concern in the United States, which is increasingly suspicious of China’s military activism in the Horn of Africa, believing it could be part of a broader strategy aimed at increasing the positioning of army and navy military units in the region.
Djibouti’s government, however, appears to have been disappointed by the announcement of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s upcoming visit to Kenya and Eritrea, as Kenya was not on the original itinerary for Yi’s Africa tour, which was scheduled to include Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea, Burundi and Zimbabwe.