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Event: U.S.-China Competition and Cooperation in Africa


As relations between the U.S. and China continue to evolve, the African continent has become an important space for competition and cooperation between the two powers. American and Chinese foreign policy in the region, as well as the unique approaches taken by individual African states which interact with both foreign players, have brought increased attention to the region in recent years. In this event, we will speak with former Ambassador and Elliott School professor, David Shinn, about his experience with American and Chinese policy in the region and recent developments in U.S.-China relations in Africa. After Dr. Shinn shared his experiences and insights, we had a moderated Q&A session before opening the floor to audience questions. This a public event and may be attended virtually or in-person US-China Youth Expositions is an event series hosted by the Onero Institute China Program and the US China Strategic Studies Organization that seeks to promote youth involvement in international affairs and research about US-China relations.


About Our Speaker:

Fmr. Amb. David Shinn has been teaching African affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University since 2001. He previously served for thirty-seven years in the U.S. Foreign Service. His first overseas assignment was at the embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, followed by a tour as political officer in Nairobi, Kenya. He then served as the State Department desk officer for Somalia, Djibouti and assistant desk officer for Ethiopia before moving to the desk for Uganda and Tanzania. He was the political officer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, followed by deputy chief of mission in Nouakchott, Mauritania. He was the deputy chief of mission in Yaoundé, Cameroon before moving to Khartoum, Sudan, as deputy chief of mission.

Shinn returned to Washington to attend the State Department’s Senior Seminar after which President Reagan appointed him ambassador to Burkina Faso. He was assigned as a diplomat-in-residence at Southern University in Baton Rouge, followed by service in Washington on the Management Task Force. He became the State Department’s deputy task force director and then coordinator for Somalia during the U.S. intervention from 1992-1993. He served as director of the Office of East and Horn of Africa Affairs before being appointed by President Clinton as ambassador to Ethiopia. He finished his State Department career in 2000 as diplomat-in-residence at UCLA.

Shinn has a BA, MA and PhD from George Washington University and a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. He is the co-author of "China and Africa: A Century of Engagement" (2012) and "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, 2nd ed." (2013) and author of "Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gülen Movement" (2015).


About Our Moderator:

Tsung-Han Tsai is a Discussion Contributor of the USCSSO and has primarily been responsible for writing the biweekly, special-edition newsletters and moderating student-led discussions about US-China affairs. He is a second-year student of the Elliott School from Taichung City, Taiwan. As a Taiwanese, he is particularly interested in examining the geopolitics of US-China competition and different patterns of international trade associated with great power rivalry.



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