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Like It Or Not, the EU’s New Infrastructure Push in Africa is Being Framed as a Challenge to China

European Union President Ursula von der Leyen speaking at a press conference in Dakar on February 10, 2022, with Senegal President Macky Sall. SEYLLOU / AFP

European Union President Ursula von der Leyen seemingly went out of her way to avoid saying the C-word during her brief two-day trip to Africa last week that included stops in Morocco and Senegal.

The C-word, of course, is China. Beijing’s influence has hung over similar visits by high-level U.S. officials to the continent, especially whenever they talk about providing large-scale investment and infrastructure financing to African governments.

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