- The significant strategic and economic power gap between China and African countries raises questions about the continent’s ability to pursue its own agenda via this relationship.
- Djibouti presents a useful case study in this regard: while it is much smaller than China, it does not necessarily lack agency.
- Djibouti has used its strategic geographic position to gain concessions from various powerful partners.
- Chinese influence in Djibouti has grown significantly owing to large-scale infrastructure lending and the construction of a Chinese naval base in the country.
- However, Djibouti has also worked to broaden its range of external partners and used the presence of China to gain leverage from other partners.