USA warns Africa of the strings attached to China's aid

Dec 16, 2018, 02:12
USA warns Africa of the strings attached to China's aid

He took special aim at China, accusing it of wielding "bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands".

"Great power competitors, namely China and Russian Federation, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa", Bolton said.

"As our partner nations develop economically, they will be better prepared to address a range of security threats including terrorism and militant violence".

"We ask only for reciprocity, never for subservience", Bolton proclaimed in a keynote speech on Washington's Africa Strategy on Thursday, calling the USA "the least imperial power in the history of the world".

Michael Froman, former US trade representative, on how the USA should respond to Russia's and China's investments in Africa.

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Trump who until recently was more preoccupied with nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, economic sanctions in Iran and trade wars with China would now shift focus to Africa.

Trump administration wants to see an increase in US investment and trade in Africa as part of a new strategy aimed at countering China's growing influence on the continent.

Speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Bolton criticized "unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable United Nations peacekeeping missions" that often lead to decades of United Nations occupation rather than conflict resolution.

On December 12, Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy warned members of Congress of China's increasing economic, military, and political influence in Africa.

Africa is one of the main targets of China's "Belt and Road Initiative", a programme of transcontinental infrastructure development and investment which Xi launched in 2013. "And, we will no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable United Nations peacekeeping missions".

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As an example, he said that the U.S.is now reviewing its aid to South Sudan, promising not to give more US resources to a government he said was led by "morally bankrupt leaders" who perpetuate violence and suffering in the conflict-torn nation.

In November, the Pentagon said it would "preserve a majority of our USA security cooperation, partnerships and programs in Africa that strengthen our partner networks and enhance partner capability and ongoing programs".

As part of the strategy, he said the administration is developing a "Prosper Africa" initiative to support USA investment in Africa, advance trade links, grow the African middle class and "improve the overall business climate in the region". Bolton helped write the mission mandate in 1991 when he served as the assistant secretary for global organizations at the State Department.

The spokesperson reiterated that as mutually-beneficial cooperation moves forward, China will continue to build relations with Africa based on sincerity, affinity and good faith, uphold justice and pursue shared interests.

He said the Trump administration is "close" to concluding a comprehensive review of its own aid programs, and said the president's budget, to be released early next year, will include recommendations for changes in funding levels for all foreign aid recipients. "What sets the USA apart has been a broader engagement, beyond government, looking at development, civil society and, frankly, serving as something of a moral authority on human rights, democracy and governance issues".

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