Yun Sun is a nonresident fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative, focusing on China’s relations with Africa and U.S.-China cooperation on the continent.
What the U.S. government has done [regarding surveillance] is intrinsically different from what Chinese entities have done. The U.S. government has been acting out of a defensive position; the Chinese engage for a very different perspective, either for commercial secrets or for data mining an interest that China is interested in.
In the past few years, there has been this sense that there was too much emphasis on large powers like the U.S. China sees this whole thing as a chess board. If they could consolidate relationships in Africa, Latin America and Central America, it will boost their standing in the world and give them more bargaining power.
More from Yun Sun
Is the United States losing China to Russia?
Other perceptions of China: Views from Africa, Europe, and Latin America