US fears of growing trade influence in East Africa
Two senior US senators have expressed concern over military and political consequences if China controls a container terminal in Djibouti.
In a letter to Foreign Ministers Mike Pompeo and Defense Jim Matisse on Tuesday, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Democrat Chris Connes said they were concerned that Djibouti would end a contract with Dubai-based DP World to manage the Port of Durale Container Terminal in February and nationalize the port in September.
According to the senators, reports that Djibouti's debt-laden country may lend port operations to a government-owned company in Beijing are "more worrying."
The message was the latest effort by members of Congress, who want to counter China's growing influence on the world stage and see it as a threat to US economic and security interests.
US President Donald Trump is focusing on China's economic threat, which has brought the two countries to the brink of a trade war, but many members of Congress want to make sure the administration also regards Beijing as a security threat.