China has raised the possibility of opening more military support bases abroad in case there is a need to do so, according to a senior People's Liberation Army (PLA) strategist, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Thursday.

Lieutenant General He Lei, former vice-president of the Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA, said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday that China would open new bases under two conditions.

"This matter is primarily determined by whether a new base is needed to help China better fulfill missions given by the United Nations," the general said in a statement cited by China Daily. "Second, it depends on the approval of the nation where a new base should be located. "

If these two factors are fulfilled, "it is possible for China to build new overseas support bases," he said.

The official stressed that the main function of these sites is to provide logistical support to PLA units abroad, and not to set up Chinese military forces in other countries, according to China Daily

China has a single military base abroad, located in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. The post opened in mid-2017 to provide logistical support to Chinese troops participating in anti-piracy missions, peace operations and rescues in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coast.