The Chinese military is the most rapidly-modernizing force in the world behind the U.S. military, and Beijing plans to flex its new muscle globally with an expansion of bases.

China has already established a base in the African country of Djibouti, and that is “probably the first of many” the country intends to build around the world, which could bring Beijing into conflict with Washington’s security interests.

“China has the fastest-modernizing military in the world next to the United States,” according to insights provided Thursday by U.S. intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the information. That will create “new areas of intersection — and potentially conflicting — security interests between China and the United States and other countries abroad,” the officials said.

The Djibouti base, which is close to a massive U.S. military outpost built shortly after the 9/11 attacks, will reportedly serve as a logistics hub for Chinese maritime anti-piracy operations in the region, as well as peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in Africa and western Asia.

Former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon has called the transfer of U.S. technology to China “the single biggest economic and business issue of our time,” adding that “if we don’t get our situation sorted with China, we’ll be destroyed economically.”

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