Washington attacks China on the African stage

A US general accused China of using diplomatic, economic and military means to increase its influence in Africa, which the Chinese diplomacy spokesman rejected.


General of the United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM), Stephen J. Townsend, assured that ” China and Russia are using their diplomatic, economic and military resources to dramatically increase their investment and influence in Africa, using soft power and hard power, and investment to seek new partnerships.”

The latter indicated at a press conference on July 26 in Washington that the security environment in Africa is complex, rich in opportunities and challenges.

Asked about General Stephen J. Townsend’s comments, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian regretted, the stubbornness of “US officials” preserve “a cold war mentality” and fervently participating in camp confrontations and geopolitical manipulation, observing all the movements of other countries.”

According to him, US policy towards Africa “Consist of limiting the influence of other countries on Africa. This act is in no way constructive.”

The latter reminded that “China and Africa maintain a traditional friendship and stand the test of international turmoil. The all-round cooperation between the two parties is still developing at a high level, with countless successes in various fields such as politics, economy, society and security.”

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He also pointed out that “Africa is an Africa for Africans. Africa has enough wisdom and discernment to choose its mates. It is the responsibility of the international community to support Africa’s development. We invite the international community, including the United States, to increase its focus and investment in Africa.”


The competition between China and the United States is not new, but is increasingly leaning towards the Chinese partner. According to a study published in June 2022, China has overtaken the United States as the foreign power regarded by young people as the greatest positive influence in Africa.

A study by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation found that: 76% of 4,507 young Africans in 15 countries named China as a foreign power with a positive impact on their lives, compared to 72% for the United States.

In 2020, when the first survey of 18-24 year olds was conducted, 83% of respondents viewed the influence of the United States as positive, while that of China was 79%.

The results show that China is winning the battle against geopolitical rivals such as the United States and the European Union among young Africans. Beijing has invested in Africa’s infrastructure for the past two decades, supplying the continent with affordable consumer goods ranging from cell phones and solar panels to shovels and plastic.

“We see that China has climbed to pole position, we see a recognition that China is surrendering to Africa at a time when there are very few others” have done,” said Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of the Foundation, in an interview in Johannesburg.

“In Africa, America has played a very, very limited role. It’s actually played an embarrassing or even insignificant role in terms of real investment, real trade, real infrastructure building.”

In addition to its vast mineral and energy resources, Africa has the youngest population in the world and is considered an important potential market for many Western and Asian countries, such as India, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

“There is no doubt that China is the dominant player in Africa today,” said Ivor Ichikowitz. “Overall, we see a much more positive approach to China, which will lead to much more engagement with China. »

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