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Howard W. French on the Similarities (and Differences) Between the Soviet Union’s Advances in Africa and China’s Engagement Today

Author and journalist Howard W. French prompted a lively discussion on Twitter this week following the publication of his weekly World Politics Review column that drew parallels between the Soviet Union’s embrace of Africa during the Cold War with China’s present-day engagement.

One key difference he noted is the American response. The Soviet advance in Africa prompted the Kennedy administration to introduce “a raft of new policy initiatives focused on Africa and the Third World more broadly” whereas today China’s presence on the continent has failed to generate the same kind of response of in Washington. 

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