Blinken warns on Russia and China

by ANKASAM Ekip
Kenan AĞAZADE

China and Russia increase the diplomatic cooperation and coordination with each other and it is not a pleasant factor for the US. They share common views in global for many political and economic issues for that reason, Moscow and Beijing have the diplomatic confrontation with the West.

Anthony Blinken spoke about Russia, China at end of the West Africa trip. According to Die Welt, while touring West African states, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, for its role in Mali and took a shot at China’s investment conditions in West Africa.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US developed many projects in the western part of Africa and it positively influence for the economic life of Africa. He mentioned the signing of contracts worth more than $1 billion (€890 million). He also pledged US assistance in boosting vaccine production in Africa.

What did Blinken say about Russia?

Blinken warned Russian military circles against interfering in Mali. This poor country remains fragile and unstable after experiencing two military coups in 18 months, and there are internationally-backed plans to have a stable government in place by August.

“I would only add that I think it would be especially unfortunate if outside actors engage in making things even more difficult and more complicated, and I’m thinking particularly of groups like the Wagner Group in Mali,” Blinken said.

According to information from Global times: Mali faces an insurgency that it has struggled to contain for much of the past decade. The transitional government invited Wagner mercenaries into the country, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who claims that the Russian state officially is not involved.

According to New York Times – The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been sanctioned and indicted by the US government.

At a news conference with Senegal’s foreign minister, Aissata Tall Sall, Blinken said: “This is ultimately about the people of Mali and their aspirations for peace, their aspirations for development and respect for human rights.”

What did Blinken say about China?

The competition between the US and China has been the main theme of Blinken’s West Africa trip. Earlier in the week in Senegal, AFP reports that Blinken did a press conference at a hotel.

At the signing ceremony with Senegalese Economy Minister Amadou Hott, Blinken said the US Investments occurred “without saddling the country with a debt that it cannot handle,” a not-so-subtle reference to China’s Belts and Roads Initiative, which many see as Beijing’s tool to economically subdue poorer countries. As an example, Senegal is less than two weeks from playing host to a significant China and Africa trade and investment forum. Senegal is also a key partner in what the US government formerly called the war on terror.

Compared with his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s reckless anti-China posturing, Blinken is taking a cautious approach vilifying China’s programs. During his trip to Africa, AP News claim that Blinken avoided explicitly attacking China, and hid its arrogant attitude towards Africa, by demanding African countries pick sides between China and the US.

According to Reuters, Blinken said the US would no longer treat African countries as “pawns” in a global game; he was still pushing values-oriented diplomacy during his tour. When kicking off his visit to Africa by first arriving in Kenya, he came with an appeal for the “preservation of democracy.”

However, the people of African states know quite well whether the US has come to play the game of competition among great powers such as Russia and China, or is it truly promoting mutually beneficial economic ties.

Finally, the Global Times concludes that the USA adjusted its approach towards African countries, and was keen to discuss cooperation projects; the reality is that the US is still facing major obstacles in promoting economic cooperation with Africa.

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