The UK/US diplomatic deal that gives China strategic foothold in Indian Ocean – yet NO ONE is talking about it.

DAILYMAIL.COM

Agreement to hand archipelago over to Beijing-friendly Mauritius will land China in backyard of top US military base Diego Garcia

The U.K. is negotiating with Mauritius about handing over the Chagos Islands

The archipelago includes Diego Garcia, location of a key U.S. naval facility

It has been involved in everything from Iranian hostage rescue efforts to air operations against targets in Iraq and Afghanistan

The U.K. says it will ensure U.S. operations at the base can continue

But U.K. and U.S. lawmakers say any change in sovereignty risks letting in China

They ask: What is to stop a Chinese base being build on another island close by?

China has deepened ties with Mauritius after signing a free trade agreement

Republican Rep. Michael Waltz said he wanted to see a congressional review

The Chagos Islands may be little more than specks in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but they are at the center of a looming diplomatic row over a key American military base and the rise of Chinese power. Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic have raised fears that the British government’s decision to begin negotiations to hand over the islands to Mauritius could allow China the chance to build its own military facility on the archipelago — right under the nose of American forces at Diego Garcia. The issue is one of the most important strategic locations in the Indian Ocean, from where U.S. B1 and B52 bombers can reach maritime chokepoints, vital sea lanes and even potential Chinese bases everywhere from Djibouti to Pakistan. The British government says any deal will protect the U.S. operation at Diego Garcia. But British MP Daniel Kawczynski is warning his American counterparts that handing sovereignty to Mauritius – with its deepening economic ties to Beijing – offers no guarantee that China won’t soon have its own base on the island chain. ‘If you look at the amount of investment the Chinese have in Mauritius, I would argue that for all intents and purposes they control Mauritius,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘They have a policy of hoovering up all of these islands in the South China Sea… the idea the Chinese are not going to take advantage of us giving up these islands is wrong.’

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