We are witnessing the awakening of the Chinese dragon with a more assertive (or should we say spectacular?) foreign policy which is a clear demonstration of the new normal in geopolitics:
First, Beijing has recently opened up its first military overseas base in Djibouti, within the super-strategic Mandeb Strait in the horn of Africa; this will help secure the passage of China's exports to Europe and imports of oil from the Middle East through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. With wars currently under way in Yemen and Somalia and with Djibouti's and Eritrea's territorial disputes over the Dumeira region, where Ethiopia could be dragged in, the strategic importance of this base cannot be overstated; China is now better prepared to ensure its vital trade routes remain open to navigation.
The Chinese base is now one of the six military bases regional and global powers have in the country (US, France, Italy, Japan and Saudi Arabia). This is not a coincidence. It's not just the Chinese who realize what's at stake!
The military base complements Beijing's position as a major investor in Africa, where China is now Africa's largest trading partner since 2009—bypassing the USA.