China has chosen several countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar to set up 'Military Logistics Facilities' to support naval, air, and ground forces projection according to an annual report issued by the US Department of Defense.
In its annual report “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 2020” submitted to the US Congress last week, the PRC is seeking to establish robust logistic facilities overseas to allow the Chinese PLA (army) to project and sustain military power at greater distances. These will be built in addition to the Chinese military base in Djibouti.
Beyond its current base in Djibouti, the PRC is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air and ground forces. "The PRC has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan," the Pentagon said in the report.
The Defense Department further said that Beijing aims to use the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects in Pakistan linked with pipelines and port construction to decrease China's reliance on transporting energy resources through strategic trade routes, such as the Strait of Malacca.
China seeks to strengthen its territorial integrity, increasing its energy security and expanding its international influence through achieving its a range of goals through OBOR. "Given the Party views the PRC's security and development interests as complementary, the PRC leverages OBOR to invest in projects along China's western and southern periphery to improve stability and diminish threats along its borders. Similarly, OBOR projects associated with pipelines and port construction in Pakistan intend to decrease China's reliance on transporting energy resources through strategic chokepoints, such as the Strait of Malacca," the department said.
The report also notes that China's Strategic Support Force (SSF) runs tracking, telemetry and command stations in Namibia, Pakistan and Argentina. Beijing has also increased multilateral engagements with foreign militaries, Russia, Pakistan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in bid to aid PLA's (People’s Liberation Army) strategic corporations with foreign forces.
"The PRC uses multilateral forums and international organizations to generate new opportunities to expand its influence, strengthen its political influence, promotes strategic messaging that portrays it as a responsible global actor, advance its development interests and limit outside interference in and criticism of its initiatives," the Pentagon said.
China has embraced multilateral organisations such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Forums and initiatives such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, the "17+1" initiative between China and 17 Central and Eastern European countries, and the Belt and Road Forum are also included as part of PLA’s approach.