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US-China-Africa rivalry says Beijing planned but failed to deploy troops to Gabon

Former President of the Central African country Gabon, Pongo, revealed that he had promised Beijing to deploy troops, but Pongo was later overthrown by his own presidential guards and failed. US officials said that although they were confident that Gabon would not allow China to build military facilities, they still had to pay attention to what was going on in Beijing.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that in August last year Ali Bongo Ondimba toldwhite HouseA senior official, he secretly promised Chinese leader Xi Jinping that China could deploy troops to Gabon’s Atlantic coast.

A US national security official said White House principal deputy national security adviser John Finer was shocked and urged Pengo to withdraw the promise; An unidentified senior US official said: “Whenever China starts attacking coastal African countries, we feel concerned.”

But Pengo’s meeting with Faina was overturned by his own presidential guards just weeks after the meeting, and the United States was forced to try to persuade Gabon’s new junta leader to distance himself from China’s proposal. Fell. When Pango was ousted, Brice Oligui Nguema, leader of Gabon’s elite Republican Guard, became interim president.

Feiner met with Nguma on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where he told US officials he understood US concerns about China’s military presence in the Atlantic and said Peng reached a verbal rather than written agreement with Xi Jinping. Were.

The report notes that the United States views the Atlantic Ocean as its strategic front and believes that China’s permanent military presence there poses a major threat to the security of the United States, particularly the naval bases that provide the Chinese Navy with its Allows arms to be retracted. Weapons and repair of its ships.

US officials say China is waging a behind-the-scenes campaign to secure a naval base on the continent’s west coast, and the US has been trying for more than two years to convince African leaders not to allow the Chinese Is trying.People’s Liberation ArmyA port where the navy is stationed in Atlantic waters.

US officials also say they will win the battle, noting that so far no African country on the Atlantic coast has signed an agreement with China.

The above-mentioned US national security official said: “We are confident that Gabon will not allow the People’s Liberation Army to remain deployed for a long time, nor will it allow the establishment of Chinese military facilities.”

US national security official also pointed towards the nearby equatorguineaWashington has so far seen no indication that construction of military facilities has begun at the deep-water commercial port built by China in the city of Bata. US officials had previously warned that China intended to establish a base in Equatorial Guinea.

The official said the Equatorial Guinea government “has always assured us that they will not allow China to build a base.”

According to the Chinese government, Chinese companies have built nearly 100 commercial ports in Africa since 2000, from Mauritania on the western tip of Africa to Kenya on the Indian Ocean coast, according to the report.

However, there is currently only one African port that has been built as a fixed base that can dock Chinese ships and troops. It was built by the People’s Liberation Army in Djibouti 7 years ago. This Chinese base can dock aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. and is similar to Camp Lemonnier, the largest US base in Africa (Camp Lemonnier is not far away.

Although Nguema said he understood US concerns, senior US officials also expressed concern that Nguema’s rule might not be transparent and could allow China to establish a permanent presence in Gabon despite receiving some assurances. Is.

Meanwhile, US officials are keeping an eye on China’s next move. A US national security official said, “When one door closes, they look for another opportunity.”

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