Thursday, October 6

China’s military outpost in Africa


Updated

After the deployment of China on the continent, it is indisputable that the influence of the West is in danger in Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Chinese President Xi Jinping.Kim Kyung HoonREUTERS

The geopolitical balance of the planet seems to gain a increasing fragility, submitted as it is to new movements of global reach. This is the case of the ambitious deployment of China’s interests in the world, and therefore, of its growing capacity to intervene in the decisions of the countries with which it is establishing relations.

And they are not only commercial. The recent location of a naval base in Equatorial Guinea seems to consolidate the expansionist plan of the so-called Asian giant in

Africa. It is the second Chinese military location on the black continent after its settlement in Djibouti in 2017, and with its sights already set on Tanzania, Kenya and Angola.

Bilateral agreements are legitimate. But it is no less unquestionable that supranational organizations must be aware of

how these agreements can affect global stability

. Much more so when such alliances are established in a regime of inequality, since China’s colossal potential is not comparable with the capacity of the nations with which it pacts. Delving into the consequences of such an imbalance, it is clear that the Chinese deployment in Africa responds to a short-term strategic need:

guarantee the supply of raw materials

to feed an insatiable industrial colossus. But in the medium and long term, it is about weaving a

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clientelistic network that shields support for political interests

of China in the world.

The nature of the benefits for the targeted countries contributes to this conclusion:

military training of their armies or sale of weapons at reduced prices

, among others. And also the way to maintain that influence in the territories

neo-colonized

, always intimidated by the possibility of losing the subsidies and the great civil works financed by China.

It is indisputable that

the influence of the West in danger in Africa

, a politically and economically heterogeneous territory but capable of destabilizing the current status quo with the economic help and strategic planning of a superpower. In fact, several analysts diagnose that we could be before the

start of a new phase in China-Africa relations.

The United States and the European Union cannot remain impassive in the face of the Chinese deployment, which reduces their influence over very sensitive territories. Y

it is not enough to watch the steps of China

: It is necessary to go ahead and strengthen cooperation in order to preserve the democratic achievements of the West in the face of a possible escalation of totalitarianism sponsored by China.

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