The relationship between the U.S. and China seems to have stabilized in recent months, but the upcoming U.S. presidential election results could potentially thwart current U.S.-China relations. Adding to that precariousness is China's growing interest in the Global South, including its economic and geopolitical strategies to expand its engagement with that region.

As China’s political and security relations and influence in the Global South continue to grow, Joshua Eisenman, associate professor of politics at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, can offer his expertise. What does China’s expanding engagement mean for the United States and its allies and what, if anything, should be done to counter it? 

“China’s infrastructure financing in regions like Africa has peaked and is unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels due to the slowing of the Chinese economy and some countries’ delays in repayment,” Eisenman explains. “Meanwhile, the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army are quietly expanding their engagements with interlocutors across the Global South.”


Joshua Eisenman co-directs the China-Global South Initiative, a multiyear partnership formed by the Keough School of Global Affairs and the Atlantic Council. He has co-authored a new book, China’s Relations with Africa: A New Era of Strategic Engagement (Columbia University Press, 2023), which focuses on political and security relations between China and Africa, explains the tactics and methods that China uses to build relations with African countries, and contextualizes and interprets them within Beijing’s larger geostrategy.