Have China’s Value Propositions Become More Attractive Than America’s?

Have China’s Value Propositions Become More Attractive Than America’s?
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 28, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

After my first book came out in 2004, I received a surprise phone call from an assistant to former United States Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, asking if I would meet with him to talk about Africa. Sitting together in his executive’s office at Citibank’s headquarters in Manhattan, he averred that if Al Gore were to win that year’s presidential election, he could return to a leading position in government, and he wanted to know if there was one initiative Washington could take to engage with Africa, what would I suggest?

This was a tall order, not least because I had not been told of his question in advance, but also because American diplomacy toward Africa has been marked for decades by a bipartisan failure of imagination—by neglect and by drift.

If I had to stick to one thing, as he insisted, my suggestion to Rubin was that the United States launch a higher education initiative for Africa that would bring thousands of students from across the continent to American campuses for free or deeply subsidized college or graduate school education, with the proviso built into their visas that they would not be eligible to remain in the U.S. for a fixed period of time after their degrees. This would help ensure these newly trained young people would take their skills back to their home countries.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review