Defying US, China resumes construction of military base in UAE

China has resumed construction work on a military base in the United Arab Emirates in defiance of objections by the United States, revealed intelligence documents.

Leaked US intelligence documents that Washington Post has obtained show that Chinese plans to continue construction works in its military base in the UAE have gone ahead.

The suspected Chinese military facility at Khalifa Port near Abu Dhabi is part of plans to create a global network of military facilities at ports across the Middle East, south-east Asia, and Africa by 2030, labelled ‘project 141.’

The reported continuation of the build-up of that base comes after the works there were forced to halt in 2021 due to US objections.

According to the Washington Post, however, US intelligence detected the resumed construction in December, a mere year after it was apparently halted.

US intelligence continues to monitor Chinese activity at the base and at other locations in the UAE, the documents reportedly show, amid concerns that the Gulf state is drawing ever closer to China.

The revelation is predicted to likely further alarm the US government, with the paper highlighting that the presence of Chinese officials at several sensitive military sites has particularly raised concern amongst US intelligence, especially at a time when Washington’s allies across the Middle East and Gulf continue to strengthen ties with Beijing.

In that regional shift, the UAE, as well as others such as Saudi Arabia, have increasingly been acting in contradiction to American foreign policy interests, even to the point of directly snubbing US concerns with regards to issues such as ties with China and Russia, the refusal to support Ukraine, and the insistence on imposing cuts on oil production.

First UAE rover on moon

It is to be mentioned that China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September signed a memorandum of understanding, through which China would help the UAE land its first rover on the moon.

The agreement was signed between the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) for a future moon exploration mission.

This is the first cooperation between the two countries in the space sector.

Established in 2006, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center is responsible for developing the UAE’s national space program.

The center includes more than 200 engineers working in the UAE Satellite Program, the UAE Astronaut Program, the UAE Mars Exploration Mission, and the Mars 2117 Program.