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Pompeo’s Africa Trip Had No Purpose But To Attack China

Feb. 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s just-completed visits to three African countries appear completely self-defeating, visits which discredit the United States across the African continent. Pompeo’s trip to Ethiopia, Senegal, and Angola, Feb. 15-19, had no United States purposes; it was conducted solely to attack China with three of China’s leading cooperating nations and recipients of its investment, none of which are going to suspend their cooperation with China. It had no tangible result, but cannot have helped President Donald Trump’s standing with Africa, nor with China, with which he has repeatedly expressed his aim to cooperate.

As observed in Australia’s Lowy Institute blog “The Interpreter,” on Feb. 12:

“More to the point, all three countries are also key regional partners for China in Africa. In December 2018, Senegal became the first West African nation to sign onto the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) when it welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping. Dakar is also hosting the 2021 Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), bringing together Chinese and African heads of state to discuss the strategic framework for the next three years of China-Africa relations. Ethiopia is a leading investment destination for Chinese businesses, recipient of several high-profile Chinese infrastructure projects such as the continent’s first light railway in Addis Ababa and [African Union] AU headquarters, and strategic anchor for China’s Eastern Africa BRI. Angola has received some of the highest amounts of oil-backed Chinese infrastructure loans in Africa, is China’s second-largest African trading partner, and a key source of petroleum for China.”

The Washington Post on Feb. 20 wrote: “The trip concluded without an announcement of any major deal or new initiative, and it deepened a sense ... that U.S. politics has moved away from popular humanitarian programs and broad-based trade benefits, to a near-singular focus on economic cooperation with China.” Meaning a negative pressure focus on those nations cooperating.

“Given the vast gap between Chinese and American economic investment in Africa, cuts to many of those [U.S.] humanitarian programs, and the impending expiration of the U.S. government’s biggest trade-benefit program in Africa, the lack of a big-ticket announcement also seemed to underline how ... the U.S. government’s Africa policy [has shifted] toward the rhetorical as opposed to the tangible.”

The Post cited experts debunking Pompeo’s claims about China’s projects in Africa, and an African expert stating, “This talk of ‘true liberation’ is of course highly exaggerated.”

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