The US views the Atlantic Ocean as a strategic front yard, making China’s permanent military presence there a serious threat to US security. Despite China’s efforts to establish naval bases on Africa’s western coast, so far, no African country with an Atlantic coastline has signed an agreement with China to allow a permanent Chinese military presence.
Meanwhile, the US is negotiating a security cooperation agreement with Gabon and hosting the country in U.S.-led West and Central Africa naval exercises. These efforts are aimed at countering the influence of the Chinese army in the Atlantic Ocean and preventing Chinese military bases in African countries with coastal access.
China has been providing military equipment and training, as well as infrastructure, to African countries like Equatorial Guinea. However, only one African port serves as a permanent base for Chinese ships and troops: Djibouti’s seven-year-old facility. The Biden administration is expected to find a way to legally provide incentives to thwart China’s military ambitions. US officials are closely monitoring the situation to see where the Chinese will turn next.