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The U.S. Messaging Strategy About the Chinese in Africa is Not Working

US President Donald Trump, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, holds a press conference on China on May 29, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Trump held the press conference amid soaring tensions between the two powers, including over the status of Hong Kong and the novel coronavirus pandemic. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued yet another dire warning this week to African leaders about the dangers presented by China. He implored African stakeholders to beware of how Beijing is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis, for which China is responsible in his view, to extend predatory lending practices across the continent.

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