Soldiers march on Chinese warships. Photo/REUTERS
WASHINGTON – The head of the United States (US) Africa Command, General Michael Langley, has insisted that China cannot be allowed to open a naval base in the west of the African continent.
The general did not publicly state where such a base might be found, but emphasized a west African naval facility would put China “at an advantage” over the US.
Speaking at a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Langley said he would not discuss the details of China’s alleged plot publicly.
However, he said a Chinese naval base on Africa’s Atlantic coast would “turn the whole equation… to protect the (US) motherland.”
China is the major naval power in the Pacific, and the world’s largest naval power in terms of fleet size, according to a 2022 Pentagon report.
The base in west Africa would put the Chinese ships roughly the same distance from both US coasts.
“Geostrategically, that would put them at an advantage,” Langley told the committee.
He added, “Right now we have a decisive advantage. We can’t let them have a base on the west coast because that would change the dynamic.”
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