Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How The US And China Engage With Africa

The US and China have very different approaches to Africa.  At a very general level, the US views Africa as a breeding ground for terrorist groups. Its efforts in Africa have a strong counter-terrorism flavor.  China's efforts in Africa appear to be more commercial.  It has invested heavily in commercial projects and infrastructure projects that are funded by its import-export bank.  It also views Africa as a huge consumer market for the low cost products that it manufactures.  Its military interests are focused on protecting its investments and the large numbers of Chinese that either work on these projects, or have migrated to Africa in search of business opportunities. 

Africa is complicated continent with many immature developing nations and numerous transnational conflicts.  This article provides a lot detail and how China and the US are dealing with the opportunities and challenges in Africa.  The following post by David Brooks provides almost no detail, and it views Africa as battleground between contrasting economic and political ideologies.  His readers will have learned nothing from reading his op-ed about what is really happening in Africa.  The US and China have a common interest in stabilizing the continent.  It is not a battleground between competing ideologies.

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