China emerged as a prominent theme at a virtual hearing on Tuesday convened by the U.S. House of Representatives’s foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa to discuss what the U.S. can do to better support democracy and elections in Africa. Lawmakers from both parties expressed concern about the widespread presence of Chinese IT infrastructure in Africa from both Huawei and ZTE and how some governments are using new telecommunications capabilities to spy on political opponents. The representatives focused considerable attention on the role of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and whether it is trying to interfere in African elections.
Although there were a number of expert witnesses who testified at the hearing, only two commented on Chinese issues: Mvemba Dizolele from the International Republican Institute and Dickson Omondi from the National Democratic Institute, both non-partisan, non-profit civil society organizations based in Washington, D.C.
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