Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bolton: China and Russia 'Interfere with U.S. Military' in Africa

Bolton: China and Russia 'Interfere with U.S. Military' in Africa

The strategy struck an "America First" tone, a cornerstone of the administration, and Bolton promised that every decision, policy and dollar of aid "will further USA priorities in the region". They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States. "Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption, and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as US development projects". "And we will no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable United Nations peacekeeping missions".

Echoing the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Bolton indicated that China is using so-called "debt traps" to encourage financial dependency and undermine the sovereignty of the borrowers, noting: "China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands".

In response to warnings by the US and others about indebtedness to China, some in Africa have noted sometimes uncomfortable financial terms set out by Western powers in the past.

Despite indications the strategy will ultimately involve a drawdown in overall US funding, Bolton said the strategy has been created to counter financial and political influence from China and Russian Federation, which he said employ "predatory practices" to stunt economic growth and interfere with American military and security interests on the continent.

Bolton said Trump's Africa strategy seeks to advance USA trade and commercial ties with nations across Africa; counter the growing threat from "radical Islamic terrorism" and all other violent conflicts, and ensure that us aid is used efficiently and effectively.

Russia, too, he said, seeks to increase its influence in the region through "corrupt economic dealings".

"The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization", said Bolton, a former UN ambassador.

Chinese companies buy more than $180 million worth of United States soybeans
But U.S. officials have been skeptical about China's willingness to back down from its global technology ambitions. A Canadian court released Meng on bail Tuesday, pending further proceedings on USA efforts to extradite her.

Froman suggests for the invest in "building capacity" in Africa to establish a better relationship with the continent's governments.

The U.S. military has expressed concern about Russia's involvement in Libya.

A report issued by Citigroup this week pegged China's total loans, equity investments and aid to Africa at US$60 billion in 2015, up from a third of that amount in 2012, and said Beijing is likely to speed up belt and road-related infrastructure projects on the continent amid trade tensions with the US.

Jennifer Cooke, director of the Institute for African Studies at George Washington University, said the USA should avoid trying to be too transactional.

In subsequent remarks to reporters, Bolton said China's so-called "debt diplomacy", which begins with attractively financed projects before becoming mired in "onerous" terms and conditions, amounts to a "bait and switch" tactic of which developing countries have grown increasingly wary.

"Some of the current uproar over Chinese investment in Africa is overblown and ill-informed", he warned, saying many of China's infrastructure projects address desperate needs. Bolton also said that China was maneuvering to take over the Doraleh Container Terminal at the Port of Djibouti, potentially posing a threat to the resupply of Camp Lemonnier. "The United States scores few points by talking down to African counterparts about the perils of Chinese engagement", he said.

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