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Indo-Pacific

China looks to East Africa for second Indian Ocean foothold

A Tanzanian naval base would ease Beijing's 'Malacca Dilemma,' analyst says

A cargo ship is moored outside Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania. (Photo courtesy of Trafigura Images) 

NEW YORK -- News that Tanzania will revive a $10 billion port project in the town of Bagamoyo has ignited speculation that China, the project's main investor, is looking to establish an additional dual-use foothold on the East African coast, a move that would greatly enhance Beijing's strategic aims in the region. 

The main purpose of Bagamoyo Port would be to ease the congestion at the country's main port, Dar es Salaam, located 75 km to its south. Bagamoyo could also become a maritime gateway for neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, "the world's greatest untapped non-oceanic/polar minerals gold mine," according to Lauren Johnston, a visiting senior lecturer of the School of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Adelaide.

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