Nowhere is China’s growing reach more obvious than in Africa. President Xi Jinping just returned from a trip during which he promised African officials $60 billion in new investment. Beijing also has grown more active culturally, educationally, and even militarily.
The PRC’s increasing role has created unease in Washington. But China has run into many of the same sort of problems which faced America in the past.
The U.S. obviously fears losing business: African trade with China surpassed that with America in 2009. Beijing undermines Western pressure to improve democracy and human rights.
Yet the ultimate results of President Xi’s visit remain to be seen. The photo ops were impressive, but both the pictures and promises may fade over time.