WASHINGTON — The Trump administration plans to adjust its economic and political strategy in Africa in order to counter Russian and Chinese "predatory practices" across the continent.
National security advisor John Bolton on Thursday unveiled the administrations' refocused African strategy, which will take effect immediately.
"The predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations, inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment, interfere with U.S. military operations and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests," Bolton said during his opening remarks at the Heritage Foundation.
"Across the continent, Russia advances its political and economic relationships with little regard for the rule of law or accountable and transparent governance. It continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations— votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security, and run counter to the best interests of the African people," Bolton said.
Bolton also had tough words for China.
"We are already seeing the disturbing effects of China's quest to obtain more political, economic, and military power," Bolton said of Beijing's role in Africa.
"China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption, and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as U.S. development projects," he said.
Bolton's speech comes as the world's two largest economies work through trade disputes that have rocked global markets.
He explained that because of China and Russia's malign role in Africa, the U.S. will intervene and strengthen its economic ties within the region.
"Enhancing U.S. economic ties with the region, is not only essential to improving opportunities for American workers and businesses; it is also vital to safeguarding the economic independence of African states and protecting U.S. national security interests," Bolton said.