President Donald Trump’s administration has devised a new plan to counter the rising influence of China and Russia on Africa, NBC News reports.
The White House National Security Council drafted the plans to improve the United States’ relationship with certain countries that are seen as vulnerable to influence from China and Russia, and to impede North Korea and Iran’s possible attempts to create business connections, according to one senior official whose name has been withheld.
“The Chinese government or its state-owned companies have extraordinary power to dictate to these African countries,” said Joshua Meservey of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. He added that China is “the most consequential foreign actor in Africa.”
The plan is set to be presented to a think tank in Washington, D.C. sometime this week, and illustrates how the current administration has shifted away from terrorism as a top priority, and is instead focusing on how to contain rival states like China and Russia.
“Counterterrorism is no longer the organizing principle,” one official said. “It's about geopolitics and countering the influence of China and others.”
The White House declined to comment to NBC News.
Trump’s statements and actions towards Africa, calling some nations as “s---hole countries,” last year, referring to Namibia as “Nambia” in a meeting with several African leaders, and his ban on travel from certain African countries, have put a strain on America’s relationships with African governments.
Trump did not meet with an African head of state or make key diplomatic appointments for over a year after assuming office, and he still has yet to fill some ambassadorships.
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