Red Rivalry in Africa

August 12, 1964

Report Outline
Chinese-Russian Competition in Africa
Red Aims in Africa and First Activities
Centers of Current Communist Activity
Growing African Awareness of Red Threat

Chinese-Russian Competition in Africa

Struggle to Gain Influence on Dark Continent

Independent Africa—plagued by economic problems, harassed by tribal conflicts, and handicapped by a scarcity of educated leaders—has become a battleground in the “new cold war” between the two Communist giants, the Soviet Union and Red China. As an American observer has written, “A bitter struggle for influence has now erupted on the African continent, a struggle between the Soviet Union and China in which all available political and economic weapons are being used.”

The Red rivalry in Africa, manifesting the split within the international Communist movement, is in essence a power struggle between the Russians and the Chinese. Each of the two leading Communist countries seeks to extend its influence as widely as possible among the new nations of the Dark Continent. Both Soviet Premier Khrushchev and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai found it expedient in the past year to make trips to Africa. Loans, grants and the services of technical advisers have been offered far and wide. Indications of indirect or subsurface activities, to obtain a controlling position or to stir up trouble that may eventually bear fruit for the Communists, have been given in parts of the continent, notably in the rebellious Congo provinces.

To offset superior Soviet capacity for spreading influence through economic assistance, the Red Chinese picture themselves as particularly fitted to understand the people and problems of the emerging African countries; they too are not members of the white race, and they too have to contend with difficult problems of economic development. The Soviet Union, the Chinese suggest, is an imperialist ally of the United States intent upon dominating the world.

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