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Africa Isn’t Alone Trying to Find a Space in Between the U.S. and China

An official wearing a face mask stands next to member flags during the special Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Hanoi on April 14, 2020. Manan VATSYAYANA / POOL / AFP

Last week’s announcement by the U.S. government that it will add 24 more Chinese companies to its so-called entities list was probably met with dread and concern in capitals throughout the global south.

After all, these companies, most notably China Communications Construction Corporation, are deeply invested in countries throughout Asia, Africa, the Americas and beyond. Given that political leaders in these regions already have their hands full simultaneously trying to combat a pandemic while dealing with a spiraling economic crisis, you can understand why they may not be thrilled that some of the Chinese companies building their critical infrastructure are now in Washington’s crosshairs.

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