China denies plans to set up military base in Namibia

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

The Chinese embassy in Windhoek has dismissed allegations that the Asian country plans to set up an army base in Namibia to counter the United States’ presence in neighbouring Botswana.

Embassy spokesperson Helen Lu Hairong told the Namibian Sun on Monday that “there have been no talks between the Chinese and Namibian governments about China building a military base” in Namibia.

She said the allegations were not true and were “purely rumours”.

The response by the Chinese official came amid swelling speculation of a massive Chinese military presence in Namibia.

This followed a heated debate in the National Assembly last week that saw lawmakers from the Landless People's Movement and the Popular Democratic Movement claiming that there were more than 3,000 Chinese troops in Namibia.

They said the Chinese troops are stationed at Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay.

The lawmakers claimed that the alleged Chinese military base in Namibia was meant to counter US “dominance in Botswana”. 

The US operates its Africa Command military base in Botswana.

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