Namibia In Talks To Allow PLA Naval Base At Walvis Bay

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20141127000125

Namibia In Talks To Allow PLA Naval Base At Walvis Bay

Staff Reporter
2014-11-27
15:50 (GMT+8)

A PLA Navy escort task force makes a stop in Walvis Bay on June 11. (Internet photo)
A PLA Navy escort task force makes a stop in Walvis Bay on June 11. (Internet photo)

Lt Col Monica Sheya, a military spokesperson for Namibia, has confirmed that China hopes to build an overseas naval base at Walvis Bay in the next 10 years, according to a report in the local Namibian Times on Nov. 24.

High-level talks are being held between the militaries of the two countries regarding the construction of the naval base, Sheya told the paper. China wants to turn Walvis Bay into a maintenance and supply base for the PLA Navy. Beijing has claimed that it will not establish military bases on foreign soil as the United States does, but says it requires strategic points overseas in the future, the report said.

The PLA Navy’s 16th escort task force consisting of the Taihu, a Type 903 replenishment ship; Yancheng, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate and Luoyang, a Type 053H3 frigate, anchored in Walvis Bay earlier this year during a mission to the Gulf of Aden, the report said. A satellite tracking station at nearby Swakopmund makes Walvis Bay a very suitable base for future PLA naval operations in the region, Sheya said. Namibia is seen an important outpost for China to extend its influence around the coast of Africa.

The spokesperson said few details of the talks can be disclosed to the public at this time, though the country’s defense ministry will inform the public once a decision is made.

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