China’s First Overseas Military Base: A Conversation with Erica Downs and Jeffrey Becker

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By: Bonnie S. Glaser

In this episode, Dr. Erica Downs and Dr. Jeffrey Becker join us to discuss the recent opening of a Chinese military facility in Djibouti, China’s first overseas naval base. Our conversation examines China’s strategic objectives in establishing the base and the missions that it will serve. The conversation then looks more broadly at what this base means for Chinese military strategy, how the base could strengthen China’s economic outreach, and what China’s expanded naval presence means for the United States.

Dr. Erica Downs and Dr. Jeffrey Becker are senior analysts at the Center for Naval Analyses’ China Studies Division. Dr. Downs and Becker are the authors of a report titled “China’s Military Support Facility in Djibouti: The Economic and Security Dimensions of China’s First Overseas Base” (2017).