WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jan 21, 2018, 10.14 AM
The Indian naval forces are keeping a close watch as China expands its naval capacities by building a strong marine force set to be deployed overseas.
According to naval Sources, People's Liberation Army (PLA) has created its eighth marine brigade recently. Each brigade is headed by a major general rank officer.
Most of the brigades belonged to PLA army that were later converted into marines. Each brigades comprises 4000 Marines.
The base includes the strategic Gwadar port in Pakistan and military logistics base in Djibouti in the Indian Ocean.
Earlier, China had increased the number of its marine corps from 20,000 to 100, 000.
The expansion is planned to protect Chinas maritime lifelines and its growing interests overseas.
Gwadar port is a deep-sea port next to the Strait of Hormuz, the key oil route in and out of the Persian Gulf, built with Chinese funding and operated by mainland firms.
Although the port is not home to any PLA installation, navy ships are expected to dock at the facility in the near future.
Gwadar also connects the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through PoK with China's Xinjiang.
Meanwhile, the Djibouti base won't be Beijing's only military installation abroad.
China earlier claimed that the base is meant for supply missions and is not a military outpost built to boost the country's military presence and play deterrent roles in the region.
China has actively invested in African countries over the past 20 years and regards the continent as the main source for its further industrial and economic development.
To support Chinese Navy longterm overseas operation, PLA under Central Military Commission has set up Joint Logistics Support Force (JLSF).
The force Gulling Joint Logistic Support Center under the new Wuhan Logistics Support Base has been tasked to plan and coordinate oversee cross transportation of troops and materials for exercises taking place in Northern China.