Will China help France fund a 10,000-strong anti-terrorism force in Africa?

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Yesterday, we noted the results of a visit to Beijing by French President Emmanuel Macron. In summary: a few small business deals signed, larger deals delayed, and an important call for European unity in dealing with China.

Today, France 24 reports on another important area of French-Chinese cooperation: counterterrorism in Africa.

  • France is promoting a five-country joint military force among Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.
  • The name of the joint force is “G5 Sahel,” referring to the region bordering North Africa that those five countries inhabit.
  • China “is already committed militarily in the Sahel with the African-led International Support Mission to Mali, as well as in several other peacekeeping missions on the continent.”
  • “Neither Macron nor Xi put forward a figure or a schedule with more detail,” but China is expected to contribute some amount of much-needed funding to the development of the force.

France 24 also noted the signing of a framework agreement for cooperation between the China Development Bank and France’s agency for development (AFD), which will support projects in Africa to combat climate change “as a strategic priority.”

Read more on SupChina about China’s evolving footprint in Africa, and also listen to a Sinica Podcast on China-Africa relations with Lina Benabdallah.