What China Is Saying About The Upcoming U.S.-Africa Summit

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Written by Dana Sanchez

The upcoming U.S.-Africa Summit is a knee-jerk reaction to the growing Chinese influence in Africa, according to Ugandan newspaper NewVision.

The biggest U.S. investments in Africa and the world have been in the areas of technology and security, the report claims, whereas China’s recent focus has been in infrastructure development.

Most African leaders now seem to be moving towards China and abandoning the West because of China’s policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs, according to the report.

It is significant that the first-ever U.S.-Africa Summit will convene three months after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toured Africa, the NewVision report said.

The report, jointly written by Charles Etukuri and unnamed agencies, said Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is one of the African leaders invited by U.S. President Barack Obama to summit, scheduled for the first week in August.

Li recently visited Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya on a trip to enhance trust as China seeks to improve its relationship with Africa through trade.

The American-Africa Summit is a result of the change in the U,S. policy to rebuild its relations with African countries, NewVision reports.

China held its first-ever China-African Summit in 2006, and the event shaped relations between China and Africa, the report said. Several other meetings have convened since then including the 2012 African leader’s summit in Beijing where China pledged $20 billion  in credit for Africa over three years.

America denies the growing Chinese influence in Africa has rattled it, NewVision report said. Both the West and China are fighting for control in Africa, and America responded by inviting African leaders to the summit to counter China.

Most African leaders now seem to be moving towards China and abandoning the West because of China’s policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of their states, according to the report.

America and Britain see China as a late comer to Africa and a modern colonialist bent on grabbing Africa’s natural resources just like the West did several centuries ago when it scrambled for and colonized Africa, the report said.

Africa is regarded as an important source of raw materials which feed China’s economic boom and a market for cheap Chinese products. In return Africa has benefited from huge infrastructure projects.

During his tour, Li promised Chinese help for an African blueprint to connect countries with high-speed railways, expressways and air routes. He also promised to strengthen trade ties on the continent and quadruple investment.

China believes that by improving transportation on the continent it will help develop the African economy.

Li signed an agreement for a multi-billion-dollar standard-gauge railway project, expected to boost trade between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

China will fund 90-percent of the first phase from Kenya’s port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, expected to cost $3.6 billion.