Dubai threatened on Thursday to take legal action against China for building an international free trade zone in Djibouti on a terminal disputed with the strategic Horn of Africa nation.
The warning came one week after Djibouti launched the first phase of Africa's biggest free trade zone, developed by China, months after scrapping a concession agreement with Dubai's global port operator DP World.
China, which has the only foreign military base near the Red Sea terminal, is developing and financing the free trade zone as it considers Djibouti an important part of its $1 trillion "Belt and Road" global investment initiative.
"DP World reserves the right to take all available legal actions, including claims for damages against any third parties that interfere or otherwise violate its contractual rights," the port operator said in a statement.
The tiny nation of Djibouti overlooks the Bab al-Mandab strait at the mouth of the Red Sea on the key shipping lane through the Suez Canal to Europe from the Gulf and Asia beyond.
In February it terminated a 50-year concession agreement with DP World over the Doraleh container terminal, claiming flagrant violation of state sovereignty and national interests.
Dubai has already sought arbitration in the dispute before the London Court of International Arbitration.
DP World reiterated on Thursday that its concession agreement over the termina...