After US Pressure, Djibouti Seizes Control of Port Rather than Gift it to China


Following complaints from the US military, the East African nation of djibouti has denied that they would cede an economically and strategically crucial port to China. Beijing opened their first-ever overseas military base in djibouti in August 2017.

The Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) is a Red Sea port that was described as the most technologically advanced container terminal in Africa during the 2015 World Scientific International Conference.

The facility, built by the UAE state-owned shipping company DP World, opened in 2009 and can hold 1.76 million tons of shipping capacity. It is the single largest employer in Djibouti and the country’s largest source of revenue.

A contract dispute between Djibouti City and DP World led to a termination of the contract in February. Immediately, foreign investors began to sniff around. The US government also reportedly received word that Djibouti might gift the port to their new ally, China.

But while the US was fine with the DCT being under UAE control, Beijing was another story. US Africa Command leader and US Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser told the US House Armed Services Committee that the military could face “significant” consequences if China took control of the port.

On Wednesday, Djibouti Inspector General Issa Sultan announced that DCT will remain “in the hands of our nation,” at least while they sought a new investor.

“There is no China option and no secret plans for the…

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