Reports stated that the US seems to have already started diplomatic effort to shelve the idea, as China may be looking for its first permanent military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast.
Citing intelligence reports, US officials told ‘Wall Street Journal’ that Beijing may be looking for port city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea as the base.
Bata already has a deep-water port, which had been upgraded by China Road & Bridge Co between 2009 and 2014, a report said.
In 2019, US first learnt about the possibility of the base in the city, the report said.
In an email, Department of Defense spokesman Todd Breasseale told Fox News, “part of US diplomacy to address maritime security issues, the administration has made clear to Equatorial Guinea that certain potential steps involving PRC activity there would raise national security concerns.”
To dissuade President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his son from agreeing to the deal, principal deputy US national security adviser Jon Finer visited the country in October, as per the Journal.
In a statement at the time, the White House said that the two discussed “ways to enhance maritime security and end the COVID-19 pandemic.”