Is the US trying to increase its influence in Africa? News. Last Minute AFRICA, Russia headlines and events
Senior Chinese, Russian and US officials visited Africa, the fastest growing continent, in January. American officials are voicing support for the continent despite the promises of Russia and China, and are trying to stay true to their promises to work for Africa.
President Joe Biden also announced that he wants to visit the continent this year.
Washington says this is not a move against Russia and China’s regional ambitions, emphasizing that the goal is to develop meaningful relationships on important issues such as trade, health, peace and security.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said: “Our partnership in Africa is not limited to other countries. As we stated at the America-Africa Partnership Leaders’ Summit; “America views African countries as true partners and seeks to establish relationships based on mutual respect,” he said.
However, African Union Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamat says Africa, exploited by Europe for centuries, is no one’s pawn. According to him, China is more understanding in this regard.
“Africa refuses to be seen as a battlefield where there is a struggle for influence,” Mahamat said. We are open for cooperation and partnership with everyone, if they respect our principles, priorities and interests. Our partnership with China is based on these principles,” he says.
While America’s highest name recently visited the continent, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held talks in Africa, the three countries are aware of each other’s activities in these days when China and Russia are trying to stand out on the world stage.
Minister Yellen said: “Many African countries are unhappy with high and unsustainable debt, and this is an undeniable problem. Much of this is due to Chinese investment in Africa. I think that would be a realistic explanation. This does not mean competition with China. We want to strengthen our ties with Africa,” he said.
Experts argue that there are two goals, true partnership, but no less important is great power rivalry.
Africa expert Cameron Hudson said: “This could all be true. However, we do not accept this truth. We accept only one truth; It is true that we want Africa to develop. I guess it’s more difficult than that.”
Experts say China has spent more than $1 trillion on the global Belt and Road Initiative. China adheres to a strict policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
On his first visit to Africa, China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, dismissed the notion that the continent is a battlefield where ideologies clash.
Qin Gang said: “No country, no nation has the right to force African countries and peoples to take sides. Africa should be a platform for international cooperation, not an arena for a race between big countries.”
The second American official to visit Africa was Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the Biden administration’s UN spokesperson. Thomas-Greenfield was at one time the top official in charge of continental relations in the State Department.
And then Biden will probably leave. The White House says it has no plans yet.
Biden describes the war in Ukraine as a war between autocracies and democracies. Noting that Africa is moving away from democratic values, Hudson wonders if Biden will deliver this rhetoric on African soil: “Or will he somehow ignore it or sideline it? So will he try to forge a partnership that will make Washington’s position at the UN profitable?”
When President Biden goes to Africa, will he be principled or practical, or both? Time will tell.
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