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Tiny Cabo Verde Seen as Big Prize in U.S.-China Battle for Influence in Africa

The small Atlantic Ocean island state of Cabo Verde appears to be taking on a much larger role within the burgeoning U.S.-China rivalry in Africa. On Tuesday, in just his fourth call to an African counterpart, the new U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, spoke by phone with foreign and defense minister, Rui Figueiredo.

Located 570km off the coast of West Africa, Cabo Verde is widely seen by both global powers as a prime location for refueling jets and ships. China, as it often does, lavished Cabo Verde with building donations, including a new presidential palace, government compound, football stadium, and a $60 million expansion of one of its universities planned for this year.

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