Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the UAE today ahead of an African tour including Senegal, Rwanda, and South
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the UAE today ahead of an African tour including Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa.
The visit follows last week’s China-Arab Cooperation Forum, where Middle Eastern countries agreed to deepen their relationship. Now China will turn to Africa in hopes of accomplishing much the same thing. Already Beijing is the continent’s largest trading partner.
Currently, Chinese money is funding a 1,400 km railway in Nigeria, a highway in Algeria, and new cities in Egypt and South Africa. With its increased influence, the country has also found geopolitical victories. Burkina Faso established diplomatic relations with China in May, leaving Swaziland as Taiwan’s only supporter in Africa.
This week’s trip is likely an attempt to strengthen China’s hold over the continent, with Xi Jinping possibly offering further investment. However, with these deals comes immense debt; China already owns more than a sixth of Africa’s loans.
And yet, with many African countries eager to catch up to the developed world, Beijing will likely continue to find success. Expect little in the way of concrete policy this trip, with most tangible agreements coming at September’s China-Africa Cooperation Forum.