China Is Loaning Billions of Dollars to African Countries. Here’s Why the U.S. Should Be Worried

By Grant T. Harris | August 30, 2018

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 26: A flower parterre is set to welcome the upcoming 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) at Dongdan on August 26, 2018 in Beijing, China. The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to be held on September 3-4 in Beijing. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

(Time) — Next week, China will host leaders from across Africa for a summit in Beijing. The last summit was held in December 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60 billion in funding support for infrastructure development in Africa.

The upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is sure to include an eye-popping announcement of billions of dollars more in Chinese financing to build infrastructure across the continent. But these massive loans can come with steep and opaque conditions.

It’s tempting for Americans to think this is not our problem. But as African countries sink deeper and deeper into Beijing’s carefully laid debt trap, the United States could pay a steep cost in reduced cooperation on counterterrorism and job creation.

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