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'Africa favors China, Russia over West for their adherence to principle of non-intervention'

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (C), and Russian President Vladimir Putin, met during the 2018 BRICS summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo via AFP)

African countries prefer to engage with Russia and China rather than Western powers because the former comply with the United Nations’ principle of non-intervention in other countries, according to an analyst.

Jeff Brown, a geopolitical analyst based in Normandy, in an interview with Press TV's Africa Today show said Russia and China observe international law and respect the right of African countries as sovereign states to conduct their affairs, which sets them apart from Western countries.

“The West has committed nonstop genocide of billions in Africa,… they stole trillions of dollars in human and natural resources, however, China and Russia scrupulously adhere to the UN charter of non-interference, nor do they try to influence them [by imposing] sanctions, and economic punishment, like the US and the West do,” Brown said.

Western powers have a long history of committing horrendous crimes in Africa, including slavery and colonization. They also continue to meddle in independent African countries by supporting brutal dictators and overthrowing democratically elected governments that do not align with their interests.

The continent is now turning into a battleground of renewed rivalry at the strategic levels between superpowers, with countries increasingly realigning themselves strategically to reap maximum economic benefits in their engagement with global powers.

Over the last few years, China and Russia have expanded their sphere of influence in Africa, and this has angered Western colonial powers that view the continent as their backyard.

In February, China, Russia, and South Africa held 10 days of joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean. The joint maritime exercise hosted by South Africa took place at the one-year mark of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

South Africa’s military defended its decision to host the naval exercises jointly with Russia and China. The chief of joint operations in the South African National Defence Force Lieutenant-General Siphiwe Sangweni said the drill was necessary to improve the country’s military capabilities.

High-ranking officials from the United States and the European Union have also visited Africa over the last year in a bid to strengthen their footprint in Africa.

US Vice President Kamala Harris visited three African nations during her late March trip to the continent. Additionally, over the past year US First Lady Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made trips to the continent.

Visits to Africa by high-ranking US officials are seen as charming efforts to regain influence in Africa and to protect their interests in natural resources, such as diamond, gold, uranium, oil, and gas, as well as their strategic footholds.

Nonetheless, Western powers' condescending colonial mentality of dictating to African countries has elicited reactions from leaders across the continent.

During a meeting with Blinken, last year in Pretoria, South African Minister of international relations Naledi Pandor accused the West of sometimes taking a “patronizing and bullying attitude” towards Africa.

When the Soviet Union and China supported independence movements and the anti-apartheid struggle, the Western governments backed the apartheid regime in South Africa. US government even designated South Africa’s ruling African National Congress a terrorist organization during the Cold War.

According to Brown, Russia and China’s support for the anti-colonial struggle in Africa affects the current superpower rivalry in Africa.

He said that “in the last 75 years, Africans, as well as the rest of the global majority, had no choice but to accept Western empires post-colonial plunder".

"This has all changed in the last 10 years, China and Russia as wealthy, economically technologically, and militarily powerful countries are able to offer Africa and elsewhere a future of win-win, mutual cooperation and benefit," he remarked. 

Brown said Africa can secure its interests and at the same time avoid being a battleground for other superpowers by cooperating with China and Russia.

“If I were a leader in Africa, I would use my national security budget to cooperate with China’s and Russia’s [intelligence services]. Both have outstanding international intelligence resources to keep the Imperial West from causing internal subterfuge and color revolutions,” he said.

The analyst added that Africa should kick out any Western military presence and cooperate with China and Russia instead.

“Africa should work with China and Russia for financing development projects and refuse to be enslaved by the World Bank and the IMF [International Monetary Fund]."

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