China planning Namibia navy base?

Windhoek - The Namibian government on Thursday dismissed as fabricated local media reports that China planned to construct a naval base along Namibia's coast.

"The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to unequivocally state that there are no discussions between the Republic of Namibia and the People's Republic of China regarding the establishment by the latter of a naval base in Namibia," the ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a local daily paper carried an article headlined "Chinese naval base for Walvis" quoting from an allegedly official letter.

According to the ministry the letter was forged.

The alleged "confidential letter" appeared to have been written by the Namibian ambassador to China and addressed to the permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs after a meeting.

"Upon investigation the foreign affairs ministry established that no meeting ever took place on 19 December 2014, or any other date between the ambassador of Namibia to China with an official from the Chinese ministry of defence to discuss as alleged in the article," the ministry said.

"The letterhead purportedly used... is indisputably fake."

The ministry called on reporters "to verify information received from unauthorised sources and to exhaust all available channels in order to obtain the correct information before going to print or broadcast".

It said forging a letter of such nature was a matter of concern.

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