Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets U.S. national security adviser John Bolton during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia Oct. 23, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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U.S. President Donald Trump's administration Thursday announced a sharp refocus of its Africa strategy to counter what it called the "predatory" practices of China and Russia, which are "deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage". National security adviser John Bolton laid out the new strategy in remarks at the Heritage Foundation, saying that the United States will now choose its African partners more carefully.Critics are skeptical because it has taken nearly two years into Trump's presidency to announce the Africa strategy, and the president is well known for his disparaging remarks about the continent that is home to 1.2 billion people.Any renewed U.S. effort to counter China in Africa, however, comes years late. China became the continent's top trading partner nearly a decade ago and has invested billions of dollars in high-profile infrastructure projects.In response to warnings by the U.S. and others about indebtedness to China, some in Africa have noted sometimes uncomfortable financial terms set out by Western powers in the past.
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