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Warships from China Making a “Port Call” in Nigeria

China warship

According to officials on Monday, three Chinese warships are currently in Nigeria as part of expanding naval cooperation between the two nations.

The visit follows concerns made by US defense officials over Chinese plans to build a military facility on the Atlantic coast of West Africa last year.

China is a significant investor in Nigerian infrastructure developments, including the recently inaugurated Lekki deep sea port close to the country’s commercial center Lagos.


Warships from China Making a "Port Call" in Nigeria


Long at risk from piracy, the Gulf of Guinea is a key shipping route that stretches 5,700 kilometers (nearly 3,500 miles) from Senegal to Angola. The majority of attacks on international shipping boats are carried out by Nigerian gangs.

According to the Nigerian navy, three ships from China’s Escort Task Group 162 escorted a Chinese merchant ship from the Gulf of Aden to Nigeria.


Warships from China Making a "Port Call" in Nigeria


They are waiting for a task to be finished at port before leaving for home. The purpose of the trip is to further diplomacy, according to Commodore Ayo Vaughan, spokesman for the Nigerian navy.

They anticipate that the visit will improve relations between the two navies.

According to the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, one of the three ships, the destroyer Nanning, is berthed in Lagos and the other two will depart on Wednesday.

General Stephen J. Townsend, head of the US Africa Command, informed Congress last year that the US military was worried about China establishing a naval port on the continent of Africa.

He stated, “As a first priority, we need to prevent or deter a Chinese space on the Atlantic coast of Africa,” according to a statement from the US Department of Defense.

One of the main arms suppliers to Nigeria is the United States, which most recently sent planes for use in the country’s protracted fight with Islamists in the northeast.


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