The United States can do more to collaborate with China in the developing world, particularly in the areas of energy, health, agriculture, and peacekeeping. If such collaboration were to take place, the United States and China would find themselves working toward a greater global public good.Perhaps of particular interest to readers of this blog will be the chapter on 'China's Soft Power in Africa,' written by Jennifer Cooke. Though much of Cooke's analysis has now been relegated to mere common knowledge (e.g. the Chinese are foremost interested in access to resources; much of China's loan money is given in the form of concessional loans; the Chinese government emphasizes the 'win-win' nature of Sino-African partnerships, etc.), she does an interesting job of comparing Chinese engagements in the continent with current U.S. engagements.
Of particular note is her observation that while U.S. soft-power programs in Africa have increased, the U.S. still exerts considerable hard power across the continent which, coupled with the stigma often borne by Western humanitarian assistance, often hinders the advancement of effective energy, health, agriculture and other development programs. For this reason (as well as several others which I won't go into - read the report!), Cooke concludes that there are areas in which the U.S. should emulate China's approach to Africa, and likewise sufficient common ground between the states so as to engender effective cooperation. Hers is an interesting and refreshing perspective few have yet been willing to offer. I'm not certain how likely such cooperation may be in the short-term, but it certainly is an objective to work towards going forward as it may, indeed, bring about the positive developments Africa needs.
But enough of my rambling. Read the report and let me know what you think.