China formally opened its first overseas military base on Tuesday with a flag raising ceremony in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the same day as the People's Liberation Army marks its 90th birthday, state media said.

China began construction of a logistics base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

It is China's first overseas naval base, though Beijing officially describes it as a logistics facility.

State radio said more than 300 people attended the ceremony, including deputy Chinese naval commander Tian Zhong and Djibouti's defence minister.

The base will enable China to better support its patrols in waters off Somalia and Yemen and carried out its international humanitarian obligations, the report said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation programme, including developing capabilities for China's forces to operate far from home.-

Source: National News Agency

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