Villainizing China, Russia Won't Help U.S. Interests In Africa, Analysts Say

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Thursday rolled out the Trump administration's new Africa strategy. Analysts said that his speech, while stroking a hostile and competitive tone against countries like Russia and China, will not help the United States expand its business, political and military engagement with Africa.

Calling China and Russia's commercial cooperation with African nations "predatory practices," Bolton asserted that the two countries' "stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment; interfere with US military operations; and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests."

Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua that Bolton's comments "reflect concern over China's investments in Africa and their possible impact on U.S. interests there."

Bolton "wants to increase American investment in Africa to counter China and Russia, and make sure the United States retains a foothold on that continent," he added, noting that the U.S. strategy will not be achievable if the Trump administration cannot convince U.S. businesses to invest there.

GOP strategist and TV news personality Ford O'Connell, told Xinhua that Bolton's speech is part of "a shift of U.S. foreign policy from a focus on counter terror to a focus on China and Russia."

"U.S. foreign policy has been so geared toward the Middle East that we've ignored this (Africa) for a long time," he said. "This has the beginning of a tit-for-tat over the rest of the globe between China and the United States."

Read more at Xinhua

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Analysis & Political Strategy