ANI Photo | Chinese, Russian influence ‘destabilizing’ Africa, warns US Defence Secy Austin

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin warned African leaders at a summit on Tuesday that the rising influence of China and Russia posed a risk of “destabilizing” the continent, reported RFI.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, at a panel with several African presidents at the start of the three-day summit, warned of a different approach by China and Russia.
Forty-nine African leaders flew to Washington for the first continent-wide summit with the United States in eight years as President Joe Biden seeks to use personal diplomacy to win back influence.
Austin, at a panel with several African presidents at the start of the three-day summit, charged that US rivals had a different approach, reported RFI.
“The combination of those activities by those two countries, I think that bears watching. And certainly, I think their influence can be destabilizing,” Austin told a panel with several presidents at the start of a three-day US-Africa summit.
Austin said China was raising its footprint in Africa “on a daily basis” through its growing economic influence.
“The troubling piece there is they’re not always transparent in terms of what they’re doing and that creates problems that will be eventually destabilizing if they’re not already,” Austin said.
Speaking about Russia, he said that Moscow was “continuing to peddle cheap weapons” and deploying “mercenaries across the continent,” he added. “And that is destabilizing as well.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s administration plans to unveil USD 55 billion for Africa over three years. In one of the first announcements, the White House said the United States would invest USD 4 billion by the 2025 fiscal year to train African health workers, a rising priority for Washington since the Covid-19 pandemic, reported RFI.
Biden, during the summit, will outline US support for the African Union to gain a formal berth in the Group of 20 clubs of major economies, months after he threw support behind a permanent African seat on the UN Security Council.
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, said the president will meet with African leaders facing an election in 2023. “We would like to do everything we can to support those elections being free, fair, and credible,” Sullivan said.
The summit also brought in NASA, with Nigeria and Rwanda becoming the first African nations to sign the Artemis accords, a US-led bid for international cooperation on traveling to the Moon, Mars and beyond, reported RFI.
The Artemis accords, which already include European allies, Japan and several Latin American powers, come as China rapidly expands its own lunar program and as tensions with Russia threaten its post-Cold War work with the United States on space.
The Biden administration has stressed working with the African Union, both on the security and diplomatic fronts.
Biden during a speech Wednesday is expected to outline US support for the African Union to gain a formal berth in the Group of 20 club of major economies, months after he threw support behind a permanent African seat on the UN Security Council, reported RFI.
African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat hailed US support but warned that there was still far more focus on fighting extremists in the Middle East.
“This double standard has had disastrous consequences for Africa and for peace and democracy in the world,” he said. (ANI)

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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