A previous post documented that China is obtaining strong naval and air bases in the Indian Ocean to isolate and encircle India. Amidst all the imminent danger of a possible wider war involving the Israelis and Hamas (and possibly other Moslem states), China has recently taken at least an initial step toward gaining a naval and air base in the Atlantic Ocean region. As this link notes, China’s leader thought it was sufficiently worth his time to visit an old NATO air base in the Azores as part of his recent tour of South American nations.
There is a NATO base in the Azores, operated by the USA and Portugal, which has fallen into disuse. As a result the Portuguese government may be looking for a new buyer/tenant for the air base. China has taken the first step toward considering this base as a location to place some of their military forces. As the link notes, if China takes over this base, it would be the first Atlantic Ocean base for the Chinese military and would put Chinese bombers within easy range of American and European cities.
It would seem absurd that either the USA or Portugal would allow China to operate this base in the Azores where they would represent an obvious threat to the shipping lanes between North America and Europe. However, because the base has fallen into disuse and Portugal’s strained economy needs an infusion of money—China could certainly provide a lot of needed money to Portugal for the use of this base. Also, the USA is heading toward a “fiscal cliff” and even if a deal is reached between Congress and the White House to avoid the sequestration process which would gut US military funding, the USA’s financial position is still deteriorating badly. If the military has to cut a lot of expenses, cutting funds to operate this base in the Azores (and many other foreign bases) is likely to happen. If it does, it appears that China will eagerly step into the role as the operator of this military base. Needless to say, this would represent a grave threat to the USA and Europe from China, which is militarizing rapidly and seeking to become the world’s dominant global military power. If China ever takes over this base, it will greatly strengthen the strategic advantage of the Gog-Magog alliance of Russia, China, Iran, etc. vs. the USA, the NATO nations and their global allies.