Leadership change in China more crucial to Africa than the U.S. presidential election?
The Communist Party of China prepares to unveil its new leader at the 18th Party Conference while Americans vote for who will win the next four-year term as president. Which will impact relations with Africa the most?
African diplomats should focus more of their resources on China. American political elites are agreed on what to do with, and in, Africa. For the United States, there are two major concerns: terrorism and the strategic rivalry with China in Africa, whether it exists or not.
When US secretary of state Hillary Clinton goes to Africa, she always highlights the Chinese presence and how to counteract that. Of course [the US has] other concerns about access to resources and migration too. But when China talks about Africa, it’s a whole other ball game.
There is a real prospect that American foreign policy could change or at least be nuanced in some unfortunate ways. Whereas whatever the change in China, policy towards Africa at least is not likely to be changed. There are many different approaches to Africa in China, and there is definitely the sense amongst some conservative people that perhaps China might have tried to do too much too quickly.