China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on September 3 and 4 with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (A.U.) to Beijing for meetings that culminated in a resolution to continue strengthening ties and a renewed pledge of billions of dollars in Chinese loans, grants, and investments. Over the past decade, China’s role in peace and security has also grown rapidly through arms sales, military cooperation, and peacekeeping deployments in Africa. Today, through FOCAC and support to the A.U., among other mechanisms, China is making a growing effort to take a systematic, pan-African approach to security on the continent.

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