Why China’s footprint in Africa worries the US

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson set out this week for his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, where he is holding meetings with influential leaders across the continent. Yet even as the US seeks to shore up (and, in some sense, repair) its relationships with African governments, Tillerson is keenly aware of another, bigger presence looming in the background: China. Since the early 2000s, China has been investing heavily across Africa through dramatically increased trade, foreign direct investments and loans from the China Export-Import Bank. The phenomenon has, in many respects, been a boon for African economies. But it has also put the US government on edge, as Tillerson…