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One Continent, Two Approaches: The U.S. and China in Africa

December 18, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:30am ET





Note: Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) was to deliver his remarks in person, but due to the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye he was required to preside over the Senate during this event. Senator Coons sent his remarks on the impact of U.S. policy of China’s role in Africa via video, which we have posted here.

The evolution of Beijing’s economic and political relationships with countries across Africa is part of China’s increasing stature as a global actor. But increased Chinese trade and investment in Africa has brought increased criticism that the relationships being cultivated are transactional, extractive, unsustainable, and indifferent to values such as good governance and human rights.

How does China’s growing role in Africa affect U.S. relations with African governments, particularly when our priorities and interests conflict with the priorities of Beijing? How can the U.S. government best respond to China’s growing influence on the continent, and how can we more effectively compete with China to increase U.S. trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa?

To consider these critical issues, please join the Center for American Progress for a keynote address by Delaware Senator Chris Coons, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Senator Coons will focus his remarks on the U.S. policy response to China’s growing footprint in Africa, and offer recommendations to increase America’s economic engagement on the continent and reclaim the U.S. role as Africa’s number one trading partner. Senator Coons’ keynote address will be followed by a panel of experts, who will discuss the current state of Chinese engagement across a variety of African nations, and what impact this growing engagement on the continent will have on the citizens of African nations and U.S. interests in Africa.