US' new Africa strategy shows Washington’s jealousy

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/14 20:57:30

US national security adviser John Bolton unveiled the Trump administration's new Africa strategy on Thursday that takes aim at China and Russia. He accuses China of using "bribes, opaque agreements and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands." Bolton claimed the "predatory practices" pursued by China and Russia "inhibit opportunities for US investment; interfere with US military operations; and pose a significant threat to US national security interests." 

These accusations are aggressive and groundless. Africa is no longer a colony where the US and European countries can obtain slaves. Countries on the continent need to develop and they have the right to conduct economic cooperation with other countries around the world. The US' new strategy clearly regards Africa as a sphere of influence of the US; viewing the continent as if it is still a colony of the West. Bolton's remarks once again convey the US' contempt for Africa.

Washington should respect China and Russia and the right of African countries to choose. They are independent members of the international community. The support provided by the US and other Western countries to Africa's development is far too little. It's an inalienable right for the people of Africa to seek funding and technological support from others. The US and European elites have never really cared about Africa's development, nor have they truly respected African countries as equal partners. They would rather keep Africa in a long-term backward state, have Western democratic governance imposed on them and subjugate the continent to Western requirements for economic assistance.

The new type of cooperation between emerging countries, such as China and African countries, has changed the past situation in which African nations could only rely on the West, which has deeply upset the US and Europe. They slander China by accusing it of plundering resources and creating a "debt trap."  

It's up to Africa, not the US, to judge China's aid to the continent. Bolton's remarks manifest Washington's pettiness and unilateralism driven by its jealousy, yet the US now is powerless or unwilling to support Africa's development even as it attempts to prevent others from offering help. Washington is stuck in a geopolitical competitive mindset, which is affecting its judgment on the motives of China's international cooperation.     

China-Africa cooperation is driven by mutual benefits, not by achieving strategic results. The China-proposed Belt and Road initiative is an open economic cooperation plan with no military or geopolitical factors involved. Washington's sensitivities have been bruised by its excessively geopolitical mindset. 

China welcomes increased trade and investment by the US in Africa. Washington often talks about order being based on fair rules. The order in Africa should be built on equal opportunities for all foreign investors, under which no one seeks exclusive interests, nor do they use political or security means to alienate economic cooperation.  The right to judge what kind of cooperation is most beneficial to Africa lies in the hands of African governments and its people. 

Foreign investors can carry out third-party cooperation on specific projects in Africa. It's suggested China actively invite some American companies to join some China-led cooperative projects. The US should abandon its prejudices, strengthen coordination with Chinese partners and make contributions by promoting peace and development in Africa. 



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