The Congo maintains the second lowest GDP per capita despite having an estimated $24 trillion in untapped raw minerals deposits ;
it holds more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves  and 80% of the world’s coltan ,
the majority of which is exported to China for processing into electronic-grade tantalum powder and wiring .
The control of strategic resources in the eastern Congo is a vital element of the ongoing US-China rivalry,
as Chinese commercial activities in the DRC continue to increase in the fields of mining and telecommunications.
While subtle economic warfare rages between partnered superpowers,
the increasing western military presence in the Congo is part of a larger program to expand AFRICOM,
the United States Africa Command,
through a proposed archipelago of American military bases in the region.