The US Assistant Secretary of State Michele Sison will visit South Africa today on a multi-country trip across Africa and
The US Assistant Secretary of State Michele Sison will visit South Africa today on a multi-country trip across Africa and Asia.
The tour is aimed at strengthening international cooperation on challenges such as climate change, food security, and public health. As one of its largest trading partners, the US has a strong interest in cultivating its presence with the region’s continent’s largest economy.
The visit follows joint active naval exercises held between Russia, China and South Africa last month. The United States has objected to South Africa’s maintained ties with China and refusal to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sison’s visit will be an important opportunity for the United States to reaffirm its position on the continent as China’s presence in Africa continues to grow.
As South Africa’s largest trading partner, it is unlikely that economic ties between South Africa and China will weaken in the near future. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has also stated that military drills with Russia and China are important
in protecting the country’s infrastructure. In the medium-term Pretoria will likely aim to maintain a status quo in relations with Washington while continuing to engage with Beijing and Moscow. The US will likely seek further cooperation on development programs in areas like energy and public health.