While the U.S. rightfully focuses on bringing its hostages home from Gaza and alleviating broader tensions in the Middle East, the U.S.-China competition continues unabated. The supplemental funding package for Israel that President Biden proposed in October contains a $1.25 billion funding request for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development—a part of the World Bank—to help developing nations such as Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria get loans from Western organizations instead of from China. Congress should endorse this package and enact additional measures to weaken Chinese economic influence in the developing world.
If the U.S. spreads its efforts too thin or focuses primarily on military power at the expense of economic diplomacy, it will lose this competition.
For a decade, China has pushed its Belt and Road Initiative—an ambitious project aimed at linking countries around the world through railways, pipelines and other infrastructure financed by Chinese state-owned banks. The U.S. can offer better partnerships to secure countries’ futures while making the U.S. economy more resilient.
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