Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr. and Dr. Jennifer T. Gordon
On September 3 and 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping will host the 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing. Happening every three years, past FOCAC’s have been used as a platform by Xi to announce new Chinese commitments to deepen economic links with the continent—in 2015, President Xi pledged $60 billion in aid and financing, and he has already recommitted the same amount again this year. Dozens of African leaders have made the trip to Beijing, with the aim of bolstering political and commercial ties with China. FOCAC, coupled with Xi’s trip to the continent in July 2018, is thrusting the question of how the United States should compete with China in African markets back in the spotlight.
History will recall this week’s passing of Senator John McCain, freedom fighter and democracy defender, as either the passing of an era or the rekindling of American purpose.