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What Role Will China Play in Joe Biden’s Africa Policy?

After a tumultuous 3.5 years, a wide array of African stakeholders are hoping for a “reset” in Washington’s ties with the continent following the election of President-elect Joe Biden. Specifically, they’re hoping the United States will re-engage multilateral institutions like the WHO and the WTO, resume its traditional leadership role in international finance and do more to help countries battle the spread of COVID-19.

But more than anything, there’s a desire for the United States to dial down the rhetoric against China. African leaders have become increasingly anxious in recent months that they’re going to once again get swept up in a great power duel. Memories of the last Cold War are still fresh and how Africa suffered disproportionately. Furthermore, heightened U.S.-China tensions unnerve global markets that brings down prices of oil and other key commodities that generate the bulk of the continent’s income.

Josh Eisenman, an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in Chinese global politics has been closely following the political maneuverings between the U.S. and China following the election. He joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the role that China may play in the incoming administration’s future Africa policy.

Show Notes:

Book: China and Africa: A Century of Engagement by Joshua Eisenman and David Shinn

About Joshua Eisenman:

Joshua Eisenman’s (马佳士) research focuses on the political economy of China’s development and its foreign relations with the United States and the developing world—particularly Africa. Eisenman has been a visiting faculty member at Fudan University (summer 2017), Peking University (summer 2016), and NYU–Shanghai (2011–12). He was a policy analyst on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (2003–05) and has been a senior fellow for China studies at the American Foreign Policy Council since 2006. Before coming to Notre Dame in 2019, he was an assistant professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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