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The U.S.’ Fortress-like Missions Look a Lot Different in Africa Than They Do in China

Anyone who’s passed by a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Africa will appreciate the sentiments expressed by popular Nigerian political commentator Onye Nkuzi (nom de plume.) He pointed out how pedestrians are able to walk right outside the walls of the former consulate in Chengdu (also true for other U.S. consulates in China, like in Shanghai,) in a way that would be inconceivable in most African countries, where U.S. government offices are significantly more fortified.

With regards to Onye Nkuzi’s observation that “Americans must feel safer in China than they do in most parts of Africa,” well, that’s probably true. China does not have the same level of threat from Islamic terrorism as countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Egypt. China is also an authoritarian state that closely monitors its own populations for even a hint of anti-government violence. It’s understandable that the threat profile in China is lower than in other regions.

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