US, China's growing influence in Africa

Chinese involvement does not substantially jeopardize American political and economic objectives on the continent

Does China under Xi Jinping reflex its muscles for curtailing world order? Does China's expanding influence threaten the interests of the United States and other western nations in Africa? Or does it simply represent the fact that China is not the only participant in the rising and perfectly legal fight for resources; the West has been doing so for decades, and now nations like India, Malaysia, South Korea, Brazil, and others are joining the fray? Is this a new sort of exploitation for Africa? Or does China bring fresh political and economic chances for Africa? 

Many American observers still thinking that China would amalgamate with the liberal international order or, at most, would challenge American hegemony. The consensus is that China would delay any worldwide ambitions for global hegemony in favour of a stronger regional role—and a smaller role for the United States. But now, there are clear and widespread indications that China is preparing to challenge America's hegemony and curbing its liberal school of thought. China started its ambition openly as in 2017 Xi declared that China had entered a "new era" and needed to "take center stage in the world." Two years later, Xi compared China's deteriorating relations with the United States to a "new Long March." Even internal Chinese strategic shocks have evolved into demonstrations of Beijing's geopolitical goals.

China and Africa have a history of cooperation that extends back to before the continent's independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the later part of that time, China actively pursued a strategy to win support from African countries at the UN for its drive to deny Taiwan diplomatic recognition. All throughout the continent, there are stadiums and public structures constructed by the Chinese. As the US tried to compete with a nearly parallel roadway, China constructed the renowned Tanzam railway.

China makes large investments in Africa because it sees it as a continent with plenty of natural resources, particularly key minerals, and a young, expanding population that presents great business prospects.  Africa is a significant player in global diplomacy since 54 African nations are represented at the UN and frequently vote as a bloc. 

China's foreign policy is to gain recognition and demonstrate its influence across the world, especially in Africa, to support the Chinese Communist Party at home. Many nations, including Turkey, India, Russia, and many more, are becoming more involved in Africa and should not be disregarded. But none compare to the scale and extent of China's impact in Africa, either now or in the future.

African leaders overwhelmingly support China's presence there and applaud its emphasis on government-to-government deals with little to no conditions. Many African leaders think China, another emerging nation, is motivated more by altruism than are Western governments and have swing attitude for USA. 

African leaders applaud China's contributions to their countries' infrastructure, pointing out observable enhancements that support increased economic activity, the creation of jobs for locals, and observable enhancements to roads, rails, bridges, and other transportation networks — all of which, at least indirectly, benefit common citizens.

Chinese involvement does not substantially jeopardize American political and economic objectives on the continent. Contrarily, infrastructure constructed by China helps firms cut operating expenses and grow the size of regional markets, expanding chances for lucrative initiatives by local and American investors. U.S. leaders, including Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have refuted claims that Washington and Beijing are engaging in a "zero sum" rivalry for influence and access in Africa. Washington and Beijing's policies and goals do not necessarily conflict with one another. 

In other words, China may not actually pose a strategic "threat" to American objectives in Africa.While the United States and China may not be strategic rivals in Africa, the two nations may become more competitive economically if American companies expand their presence in the continent. President Obama has made it clear in 2013 that he wanted to encourage this through the numerous trade and infrastructure. Such commercial competitiveness would boost American interests while helping African nations. If African countries are not dependent on Chinese finance, they may be able to negotiate better commercial conditions.

However, now the table has been turned as the way China views Africa poses a serious threat to American efforts to advance democracy, good governance, and sustainable development in the continent. Human actors in Africa worsen the issues by actively endorsing and participating in the faulty process. 

Chinese financing flows to Africa with "no strings attached," such as requirements on transparency, anti-corruption, and environmental protection. Beijing thus provides a convenient substitute for the ethical or methodical development assistance provided by the West and multilateral financial institutions, undermining their efforts to address the institutional and systemic shortcomings of African nations and to advance long-term sustainable development and democratic systems.

Additionally, China's involvement in Africa has significant geopolitical ramifications for American foreign policy. China has noted growing obstacles to its strategic advances in East Asia and the Pacific as the U.S rebalances its foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific area. In response, China is turning its focus westward toward South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to broaden the spheres of influence over politics and strategy. Given the stagnating or falling U.S. participation, Beijing views these areas as the most promising. 

China, particularly in Africa, aims to strengthen and expand its strategic presence through improved political, economic, diplomatic, and scholarly resources, going beyond the conventional pursuit of economic gains.It would be risky, foolish, and even harmful for the United States in the near future to fail to recognize and anticipate China's movements. 

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