re posted from Sputnik
China Ramps Up ‘Railway Diplomacy’ in Africa Seeking Power Projection
China’s encouragement to African countries to sign up to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is being ably supported by Beijing’s “railway diplomacy” on the continent, an expression of its military as well as economic potential.A 750km line built by China linking the Horn of Africa to countries inland was officially launched on January 10 in Djibouti. China is continuing the construction of a military facility in this a small country situated on the Horn of Africa peninsula. It is the second trans-national railway built by Chinese companies in Africa, following the Tanzania–Zambia Railway.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a visit to Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Nigeria on January 7-12. On Sunday he called on African countries to deepen cooperation in the construction of a new Silk Road, comprising the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road.He stressed that Africa had historically been a part of the Silk road economic belt.
The project is intended to facilitate the direct flow of goods from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea and strengthen economic ties between Asia, Europe and the Gulf states. Wang Yi also stressed that joining the “One Belt, One Road” initiative would allow those countries to receive additional benefits and support from China. The foreign minister said that China has already held productive consultations with a large enough number of African countries, especially those located on the Eastern coast of Africa.