Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned African states to be wary of incurring too much debt from creditor China, which seeks to “encourage dependency” to undermine their sovereignty, in a speech Monday before heading on his first trip as America’s top diplomat to the country.
Speaking to an audience at George Mason University, Tillerson also urged African governments to cut ties with North Korea, lamenting that these states could “do more” to diminish the threat of the nuclear-armed rogue state prompting a major war.
Trump administration officials have repeatedly emphasized the pivotal role that China plays in emboldening North Korea as its largest trading partner. In past remarks, Tillerson has stated that North Korea is not only a moral burden to China, but represents a “serious threat” to the country.
Tillerson revealed a series of new intiatives to enhance economic and humanitarian cooperation between the United States and Africa on Monday. “The United States pursues, develops sustainable growth that bolsters institutions, strengthens rule of law, and builds the capacity of African countries to stand on their own two feet,” he affirmed. “We partner with African countries by incentivizing good governance to meet long term security and development goals.”