China increases defense ties with Africa
Beijing established its first military base in Africa last year and it is now expected that more will follow as joint exercises increase across the continent, especially in countries where the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative has made significant investments. At the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum this week, China promised “comprehensive support” on piracy and counterterrorism through the provision of technology, equipment, personnel, and training. This increase also coincides with China’s overtaking of the U.S. in terms of arms sales to the continent, a change that has been credited to China’s willingness to sell arms with less oversight or fewer conditions. Ultimately, China’s improved military position on the continent will safeguard its massive economic interests.