Washington’s Africa Strategy: ‘Our investments – good & fair, Chinese and Russian – bad & predatory’
US President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton blasted Beijing and Moscow for pursuing “predatory practices” in Africa which “stunt economic growth” and “threaten the financial independence of African nations.”
China uses “bribes, opaque agreements” to hold African countries “captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands,” while Moscow’s exploits are not much better, the official argued. But it is apparently a whole different story when American money is involved.
“We ask only for reciprocity, never for subservience,” Bolton proclaimed in a keynote speech on Washington’s Africa Strategy on Thursday, calling the US “the least imperial power in the history of the world.”
However, unlike China’s leader Xi Jinping who visited Africa nine times to promote large investment projects, the White House had seemed so far more eager to deploy its army in the continent – as the US troops are stationed in 50 out of 54 African states.
The US renewed interest in Africa is “a cynical geopolitical strategy” aimed more at “trying to maintain the upper hand against Russia and China” than anything else, African affairs analyst, Lawrence Freeman stressed.
The Trump administration does not actually desire to help Africa develop. They see Africa as a pawn on a geopolitical chessboard.
Speaking to RT, Freeman argued that, contrary to Bolton’s words, Chinese mega-projects like the Belt and Road Initiative can’t be dismissed as ‘predatory’ because they help African countries to build crucial infrastructure.Also on rt.com China pledges $60bn to Africa, rejects ‘debt trap’ claims
For decades, Africa was touted as the ‘lost continent’ and “written off” mainly because “the US was not providing infrastructure money or doing anything to develop the nation,” Ann Lee, an adjunct professor of economics and finance at New York University, told RT.
Now that China actually turns Africa into the fastest-growing continent, the US basically feels like they need to do a catch-up.
Professor Lee noted that Chinese investments make African nations “wealthier,” saying that the kind of “arm-twisting” the US tends to employ “to get concessions is probably not going to win any friends.”
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