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China’s Influence in Africa Casts Shadow over Obama’s Visit

By Liu Rong (People's Daily Online)    03:07, July 28, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama’s current historical visit to Africa has been somewhat outshined by China’s increasing influence in the continent.

It was definitely a big deal that he visited Kenya, the homeland of his father, but it seems that the media kept reminding him that many things he saw there are made in China. He just addressed over 5,000 people at a gymnasium in Nairobi this past Sunday. So what did it have to do with China? China had just provided considerable funding for the renovation of the gymnasium, which is housed in the Moi International Sports Center, constructed in the 1980s with a Chinese donation.

Quartz, a U.S. online news outlet, said that the sports center was part of China’s “stadium diplomacy” in Africa. “As of 2010, there were 50 sports arenas across Africa that were built with Chinese support, given as either gifts or funded via low-cost loans,” the website reported.

The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, also did not forget to mention the presence of China in Africa when reporting Obama’s upcoming visit to Ethiopia. “Ethiopia is also the home of the African Union (AU) and on Tuesday the US president will address the whole continent from the organization’s Chinese-built headquarters in Addis Ababa,” the paper said.

The New York Times did not shy away from such a topic either. In its report entitled “Obama to Push U.S. Trade in Kenya as China’s Role Grows,” the paper pointed out that “roads, office buildings, schools and major infrastructure projects across Kenya have been built by the Chinese, a pattern repeated in many parts of the continent.”

China’s greater influence in Africa than the U.S. has been an undeniable fact backed up by statistics. According to figures released by World Bank and the U.S. government, the trade between China and Africa reached 222 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, three times that between the U.S. and Africa. 


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Tian Li,任建民)

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