US on collision course with China

China’s chequebook diplomacy.

US on collision course with China in the Red Sea

Abukar Arman

Two major developments in Somalia and Djibouti have attracted international media attention recently. John Kerry became the first US Secretary of State to visit Mogadishu, whilst Chinahas negotiated the construction of a military base in the strategic port of Djibouti.

These two “symbolic” and substantive developments represent both an opportunity and a challenge for US geopolitical interests in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

The contemporary US foreign policy which is hardwired on counter-terrorism posturing has been on a losing streak in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, to name but a few. In the Horn of Africa, it is facing some serious challenges: China’s chequebook diplomacy, Ethiopia’s hegemonic adventures and the indirect effect of the Arab Spring.

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