London, UK | Xinhua | Though U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken struck the right note on his three-nation tour in Africa, it will take more than rhetoric to strengthen partnerships on the continent, The Guardian has commented.
During his second visit to the continent which aimed to continue rebuilding U.S. relationships, Blinken exhibited more humility — moving past not only former U.S. President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” denigration but also the earlier tendency to lecture other governments on their real needs and best options, The Guardian said in an opinion piece published Thursday.
“The question is what such rhetoric means in practice,” The Guardian said.
While Blinken said that the commitment to a stronger partnership was not about trying to outdo anyone else, it is “plainly rooted in Washington’s concerns about China’s growing clout and, more recently, Russia’s attempt to woo and reinforce support, with last month’s four-nation tour by its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov,” it noted.
U.S. aid for Africa has hardly proved beyond reproach, it said, citing its practice of hoarding COVID-19 vaccines which left Africa hanging, as well as a lack of concrete actions on tackling climate crisis and preserving pristine rainforest.
America’s soft power reserves are “dwindling,” it noted. ■