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Media Frustrates White House Efforts to Avoid Making This Week’s Africa Summit About China

A US Military Honor Guard approaches Namibian President Hage Gottfried Geingob's plane as he arrives at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on December 11, 2022, to attend the US-Africa Leaders' Summit. The summit will take place in Washington, DC, December 13-15. OLIVER CONTRERAS / AFP

Senior African policy officials in the White House and State Department have been adamant that this week’s African leaders summit is about Africa… not China. But the international news media doesn’t appear to see it that way — framing the story as the latest installment of the escalating competition between the two rival powers:

The administration’s difficulties in evolving its narrative on Africa policy to be more than just about competition with China was on full display at two separate pre-summit press briefings in recent days, one organized by the White House and the other by Pentagon. On both occasions, the literal first question posed to the policymakers was about China, not Africa:

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