China says it is holding discussions with Djibouti on setting up a naval logistics center in the Horn of Africa nation to service Chinese anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and other regional missions.

China has no military bases overseas and has consistently said in the past it would not seek them.

When asked Thursday whether the plans amounted to a military base like those maintained by the U.S., Britain and others, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian declined to say. He referred to the logistics center as "facilities."

Wu said China hopes the center could ease difficulties in refueling and replenishing Chinese navy ships and provide recreation for officers and sailors.

China's growing economic, diplomatic and military engagement is testing the country's strict policy against foreign military interventions.