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U.S. takes swipe at China over Africa

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on February 19, 2020 - Duration: 01:35s

U.S. takes swipe at China over Africa

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched a thinly veiled attack on China's lending on the African continent, during his first official trip to Africa.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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U.S. takes swipe at China over Africa

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a thinly veiled swipe at China on Wednesday (February 19), as the world's two biggest economies vie for influence on the African continent.

Speaking in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa to the U.N.

Economic Commission in Africa, Pompeo said that not every nation doing business in Africa from outside the continent adopts the quote "American model of partnership".

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "They breed corruption, dependency.

They don't hire the local people, they don't train, they don't lead them.

They run the risk that the prosperity, the sovereignty and the progress that Africa so needs and desperately wants won't happen." Pompeo was amplifying criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump that China pushes poor countries into debt through lending for ambitious infrastructure projects.

Though, on his first official visit to Africa which has also taken in Senegal and Angola, Pompeo did not announce any new deals or projects himself.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "If there's one thing you should know about our president - my boss - you should know that he loves deals.

He wants more to happen.

He wants more to happen between the United States and nations all across Africa." However, Trump's commitment to the continent is under scrutiny.

Last month the White House tightened visa restrictions on nationals from Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea and Nigeria and has signaled a U.S. troop withdrawal in West Africa, just as groups with links to Islamic State and Al Qaeda are gaining ground.

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