Preserving the diversity visa helps the U.S. counter Chinese and Russian influence in Africa
Vice President Harris visited Zambia, Ghana, and Tanzania in March for a one-week diplomatic trip through Africa. During her visit, Harris announced billions in clean energy and infrastructure investments from the private sector and the U.S. government, met with heads of state, and hosted events on American priorities in the region. The trip was the latest in a string of high-profile trips made by U.S. officials and came on the heels of the historic U.S.-African Leaders Summit held in Washington last year.
At the time, a senior Biden administration official noted, the U.S. “relationship with Africa cannot, and should not, and will not, be defined by competition with China.” But to many onlookers, enhanced U.S. focus on Africa appears to be – at least partly – an effort to counter Russian and Chinese influence on the continent.
Conventional wisdom sometimes casts the U.S. as inherently disadvantaged in this arena of soft-power competition. This line of thinking theorizes that African nations now prefer or will prefer Chinese and Russian aid since it comes without the conditions of democracy and human rights promotion often tied to American assistance. Comparatively, little thought is given to the built-in soft-power advantages the U.S. has over China and Russia, particularly in immigration.
Guerra, G. (2023, August). Preserving the diversity visa helps the U.S. counter Chinese and Russian influence in Africa. Niskanen Center. https://www.niskanencenter.org/preserving-the-diversity-visa-helps-the-u...