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Bolton Proclaims New U.S. Africa Policy in Diatribe Accusing Russia and China of ‘Predatory Actions’

Dec. 14, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton yesterday delivered an aggressively anti-Russia and anti-China speech at the Heritage Foundation, in which he attacked China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy as “predatory,” in the context of announcing the Trump Administration’s new policy on Africa. It is called “Prosper Africa,” which “the President approved yesterday,” Bolton claimed—although its contents are unadulterated British geopolitics designed to ensure that the U.S., China and Russia do not cooperate. In fact, Bolton described China and Russia’s actions in Africa as “a significant threat to U.S. national security interests.”

Bolton identified three U.S. priorities in the region: 1) “advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties;” 2) “countering the threat from Radical Islamic Terrorism;” and 3) “ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively.”

Priority number one is to stop China and Russia, he stated.

“Great power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa. They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States.... China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption, and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as U.S. developmental programs.”

He then attacked the Belt and Road Initiative by name—the global infrastructure program which has brought dramatic economic development to Africa:

“Such predatory actions are sub-components of broader Chinese strategic initiatives, including ‘One Belt, One Road’—a plan to develop a series of trade routes leading to and from China with the ultimate goal of advancing Chinese global dominance.

“In Africa, we are already seeing the disturbing effects of China’s quest to obtain more political, economic, and military power.”

Bolton went on to charge China with indebting nations such as Zambia and Djibouti, in order to gain control of their economies, establish military bases, etc.

He then turned his attention to Russia:

“Russia, for its part, is also seeking to increase its influence in the region through corrupt economic dealings. Across the continent, Russia advances its political and economic relationships with little regard for the rule of law or accountable and transparent governance.

“It continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations—votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security, and run counter to the best interests of the African people. Russia also continues to extract natural resources from the region for its own benefit.

“In short, the predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment; interfere with U.S. military operations; and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests.”

As for U.S. funding practices, Bolton said that

“The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization. And, we will no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable UN peacekeeping missions. We want something more to show for Americans hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”

And, after accusing Russia of buying votes at the UN, he announced that “countries that repeatedly vote against the U.S. in international forums, or take action counter to U.S. interests, should not receive generous American foreign aid.”

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