News / Asia

    Clinton Answers China's Challenge in Africa

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the University of Dakar, in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the University of Dakar, in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.
    x
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the University of Dakar, in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the University of Dakar, in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.
    Terry Wing
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told leaders in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, on Wednesday that Africa’s best hope for economic prosperity lies with democratic institutions and open markets. 

    Underlying her message was a challenge to China’s increasing influence on the continent.

    Dakar was the first stop on an 11-day Africa tour for Secretary Clinton, and the unabashed theme of her trip is to make sure African leaders know the difference between deals made with the United States and those made with China.
       
    The challenge that Clinton faces is daunting.

    China’s Economic Clout
     
    China surpassed the United States in 2009 to become Africa’s largest trading partner.  Chinese aid and investment in Africa have also grown rapidly.   

    Chinese officials announced last month that some 2,000 Chinese companies now have dealings in Africa, with investments totaling $14.7 billion - an increase of 60 percent in two years.
     
    Washington was also caught by surprise last month when Chinese Premier Hu Jintao announced to 50 African leaders at a forum in Beijing his promise to provide $20 billion in foreign aid -- twice as much as was promised three years earlier.
     
    At the heart of China’s aggressive move in Africa is its plan to gain access to the continent’s rich energy and mineral resources needed to drive its own rapid economic expansion.  
     
    African leaders, like South African President Jakob Zuma, have been impressed by what they call China’s willingness to treat them like equals.   It was a pointed criticism at Western ways of the past. 

    Addressing Senagalese leaders on Wednesday, Clinton said those days are over.
     
    “The days of having outsiders come and extract the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind, should be over in the 21st century," she said.
     
    Clinton’s Warning

    Clinton cited pledge made by U.S. President Barack Obama during a landmark speech on Africa during a 2009 visit to Ghana.  Obama said that the United States would offer Africa "partnership, not patronage." 

    Clinton said the president's comments then should be headed now when African leaders consider doing business with Chinese companies.
     
    "Throughout my trip across Africa this week, I will be talking about what that means - about a model of sustainable partnership that adds value, rather than extracts it," she said.
     
    Clinton never mentioned China by name during her Dakar address.  Still it was obvious who she was talking about when she drew political comparisons the two rivals. 
     
    “Over the long run you cannot have effective economic liberalization without political liberalization. Without the rule of law, people with a good business idea or money to invest cannot trust that contracts will be honored and corruption punished… or that regulations will be transparent and disputes resolved fairly," Clinton told her Senegalese hosts.  

    WShe encouraged African leaders to view democratic reform as a key to sustainable development, and not as an afterthought.

    The American Advantage

    In the past U.S. officials, including Clinton, have expressed deep reservations over China's exploitation of Africa's raw materials without regard for human rights and democratic principles.

    In Dakar, Clinton acknowledged that U.S. policies haven’t always lined up with its principles.  But she said Washington wants to build relationships that are not “transactional or transitory,” and are built on values not shared with its Asian competitior.

    “They are built on a foundation on shared democratic values and respect for the universal human rights of every man and woman,” Clinton said.

    Clinton’s message is what Washington sees as its competitive advantage over China – the belief that Africa’s best chance for achieving good governance and better living standards lie with partners like the United States.

    • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Lagergren at the funeral of Ghana President John Atta Mills, in Accra, Ghana, August 10, 2012.
    • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, August 9, 2012.
    • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a clinic at Delft township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, August 8, 2012.
    • South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, left, and Hillary Clinton visit the Delft South Clinic in Delft South, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, August 8, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton meets with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Qunu, South Africa, August 6, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton and South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane see a rare snow flurry as they leave business meetings in Pretoria, South Africa, August 7, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton walks out with African Union Chair-Designate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma after their meeting at Brynterion Estate in Pretoria, South Africa, August 7, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton dances with Emille Phiri, chair of the Lumbadzi Milk Bulking Group, Lilongwe, Malawi, August 5, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton meets with Malawi's President Joyce Banda at the State House in Lilongwe, Malawi, August 5, 2012.
    • Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, with Hillary Clinton (R) and his vice president Kalonzo Musyoka (L), leaves after a meeting at State House in Nairobi August 4, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton is met by Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Okello Oryem upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, August 3, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Bishop Elias Taban in Juba August 3, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton meets with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, August 3, 2012, at the Presidential Office Building in Juba.
    • Hillary Clinton, accompanied by President Macky Sall, speaks at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, August 1, 2012.
    • Hillary Clinton shakes hands with staff from the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, August 1, 2012.
    • The shadow of Hillary Clinton on a Senegalese flag before she spoke at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Eric from: US
    August 04, 2012 10:32 AM
    VOA journalists/State Department, dream on! Mere words and PR campaigns will never change what's going on in reality on the ground. Never forget; when white's deal with blacks, there is a legacy of the past 100, 200, 300 years of hard data to draw from about the behavior of whites towards blacks; we can harp on the good actions of the few (a skill the West has finessed), but to those who lived under the boot of oppression our "genes/psyches" are encoded with the evils perpetrated on our forbearers and still manufactured today. With Asia we have only harmony.

    by: Jeff from: USA
    August 02, 2012 11:31 AM
    without actual means to improve normal African people's life and living, all those talks are just empty and sometimes may be very dirty.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.