China’s Foreign Policy Towards Africa

Powerful Essays
China’s Foreign Policy towards Africa
Author: Chenchen Wu (the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University)

As global demand for energy increases, major players like the United States, the European Union, and Japan are facing competition from a new source as China struggles to meet its need for long-term energy supply. China-Africa cooperation has particularly been put in the spotlight. Some international observers accuse Chinese foreign policy towards African countries of undermining international efforts to increase transparency and good governance. Others describe a policy of ‘an aid for oil strategy’ or even a ‘neo-colonial policy’. On the African side, some blame on Chinese enterprises of underbidding local firms, especially in the textile industry, or of failing to hire Africans. In Beijing, the Chinese government insists on its ‘non-interference’ policy and refuses to link business with the human rights issue. The Beijing Summit in 2006 accelerated the interaction between China and Africa even further, as the two sides decided to accelerate cooperation, especially in joint resources exploration and exploitation.

This research paper, divided in two parts, aims to provide insights into the status of the Sino-Africa relationship and gives a relatively objective conclusion. Part one considers the policy level, examining the past relationship from the ‘Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence’ in the Bandung Conference in 1955, to ‘Four Principles of Chinese Cooperation with Africa’ in 1982, to ‘a New Strategic Partnership’ in 2006. This concludes that China’s policy towards African has moved away from unconditional assistance so that ‘mutual-benefits’ has become the priority. Part two examines the motivation level. Here I argue that China’s policy to Africa is not only driven by oil and other resource needs, but also the strategic importance of the African continent, which lies in three considerations, with commercial factors



References: Africa-China: Beijing Summit, African Research Bulletin, 2006, Vol 43, No.12, Oct 16th—Nov 15th, 2006 Africa-China: Hu’s Tour, African Research Bulletin, 2007, Vol 44, No.1, Jan 16th-Feb 15th 2007. Brautigam Deborah.(1998), Chinese Aid and African Development, Published in Great Britain. China-Africa Friendship and Cooperation in Five Decades (Zhong fei you hao guan xi wu shi nian), 2000, Published by Shi jie zhi shi chu ban she, Beijing China’s Africa Policy (2006), http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/zxxx/t230615.htm Deutsche Bank Research Report, http://www.expeditiondeutschland.de/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_DE-PROD/PROD0000000000199956.pdf Forum On China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Action Plan (2007-2009), http://www.focac.org/eng/zyzl/hywj/t280369.htm Lai Hongyi Harry (2007), ‘China’s Oil Diplomacy: Is It a Global Security Threat?’, Third World Quarterly, Vol.28, No.3, 2007, P519-537 Lafargue Francois(2005), China’s Presence in Africa, China Perspective Li Anshan(2007), China and Africa: Policy and Challenges, China Security, Vol.3, No.3, Summer 2007, P69-93 Looy Judith(2006), Africa and China: A Strategic Partnership? ASC working paper 67/2006, African Studies Centre, The Netherlands Meidan Michal (2006), ‘China’s Africa policy: Business Now, Politics Later’, Asian Perspective, Vol.30, No.4, 2006, P69-93 Naidu Sanusha & Davies Martyn(2006), China Fuels Its Future With Africa’s Riches, http://www.ccs.org.za/downloads/Naidu%20and%20Davies%20-%20SAIIA%20-%20Vol%2013.2.pdf Onderco Michal(2007), Changing Nature of Sino-African Relations After the Second World War, http://blog.sme.sk/blog/2953/97594/onderco-china_and_africa.pdf Pan Esther (2007), China, Africa, and Oil, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/publication/9557/ Payne Richard & Veney Cassandra(1998), China’s Post-Cold War African Policy, Asian Survey, Vol.38, No.9(Sep, 1998), P867-879 Taylor Ian(2006), China and Africa: engagement and compromise, Published by Routledge.

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