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Pentagon Spokesman Struggles to Explain Claim That China is Planning to Build a Military Base in Equatorial Guinea

File image of Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby. Image via the U.S. Department of Defense.

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby (photo) struggled to answer reporters’ questions on Monday about the allegations published in a Wall Street Journal article that China is planning to build a military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast, most likely in Equatorial Guinea. Reporters at the regular press briefing focused on the fact that the U.S. military made the claim without providing any evidence.

Kirby, for his part, did not answer the questions and instead reverted to well-established talking points on the U.S. perceptions of Chinese engagement in Africa:

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