Sino-American Tensions and Their Effects on Counter-terrorism Operations in Djibouti


  • Paul Fricker London School of Economics



Africa, China, Counter-terrorism, Djibouti, Relations, Security, United States


This research note examines the tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in Djibouti. Djibouti has become a battleground of interests between the US and China with both building military bases on its territory. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) utilises its base to conduct naval operations and to implement the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), often conflicting with US operations and interests. The research note relies on primary documents to investigate the interaction between the two states over Djibouti and to assess whether and how China’s presence is an obstacle to US counterterrorism operations. This analysis indicates that a conflict of interests between the US and China is inevitable, but the US’ counterterrorism operation in Djibouti can be protected from the diplomatic conflict.

Author Biography

Paul Fricker, London School of Economics

Paul Fricker is a current Master’s student at the London School of Economics specialising in conflict. His areas of research are conflicts within Africa and the Middle East. Former work includes political commentary and a submission to a student journal.


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How to Cite

Fricker, Paul. 2021. “Sino-American Tensions and Their Effects on Counter-Terrorism Operations in Djibouti”. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science 49 (June). Online:90-109.



Research notes