Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Council on Foreign Relations Report: U.S. “Inaction” and “Withdrawal” Bolstered China’s BRI


A group of scholars at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York published a critical report today that attributes U.S. “inaction” and “withdrawal” for creating a vacuum in the international arena that China filled with its Belt and Road Initiative.  The authors detailed how cutbacks in U.S. spending on development assistance, 5G technology, and infrastructure development around the world provided Beijing with an opening that it took full advantage of. 

But the authors are also very clear in their recommendation as to how the U.S. government should respond to the formidable challenge that the BRI now presents the United States. “The United States cannot and should not respond to BRI symmetrically, attempting to match China dollar for dollar or project for project,” they said. Instead, Washington should “leverage core U.S. strengths, including cutting-edge technologies, world-class companies, deep pools of capital, a history of international leadership, a traditional role in setting international standards, and support for the rule of law and transparent business practices.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.