China’s Relations with Africa and West
China’s Relations with Africa and West
The international relations between China and countries of the West and Africa have enjoyed a long standing relationship though at different levels. Since the emergence of the People’s Republic of China, China-West and China-Africa relations have advanced continuously, as shall be demonstrated herein by the deepening relations in economic, political and cultural realms. These relations have created a new form of strategic partnerships founded on political equality, economic win-win relations, mutual trust and social-cultural exchanges. The questions that this research paper focuses to answer are what is the nature of international relations shared among Africa and countries of the West? How have the international relations evolved since the declaration of independence in China? Over the last 60 years or so, China-West and China-Africa co-operations, have been based on the principles of equality, sincerity, mutual benefit and international relations development. Particularly, in Africa the co-operations have demonstrated reverence to the will of African countries, deepened relations between African and Chinese businesses and indicated a higher level of sincerity in helping African countries in their development agendas. Nevertheless, this may not be the case with co-operations between China and the West due to different interest between the two entities, apparently, different from those that are experienced in Africa. Notwithstanding these different interests, a common feature on trade and economic relations have reached remarkable results and the overall effect has enabled growth in business exchanges, widened scope in the relations and essentially yielded benefits to the people of China, West and Africa. The China-West and China-Africa co-operations are different in many aspects and it is only prudent to analyze each one of them in isolation and establish facts from the nature of relations. China-Africa Relations 1949-2012
China is the world’s largest developing country; however, Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing states. China-Africa relations play a very significant role in advancing their respective progress and helping attract support from international community. This is evident especially for Africa’s development. Currently, China is the greatest trade and economic partner of Africa1. Historically, the relationships between China and Africa began in 1949 after the People’s Republic of China was founded. Basically, the period 1950s to 1970s was marked with less activity in terms of relations since most of the African countries were actively engaged in national liberation while China was working constantly to safeguard their territorial integrity and sovereignty. However, the countries supported each other to establish mutual trust, friendships and build foundations for political, trade and economic co-operations. Egypt became the first country to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1956 which opened up a new epoch of China-Africa relations. In 1971, China was able to acquire a legitimate seat in the United Nations which was made possible by the unfailing support from Africa. In fact, by 1978 China was able to establish diplomatic ties with estimated forty African countries2. Until this period, trade and economic relations between China and Africa was mainly focused on building bilateral relations in trade and largely on China’s assistance on the African continent. In this regard, China was able to help Africa with a number of light industries, social welfare advantages, agricultural and manufacturing projects, like the construction of the Tamara railway. Another instance can be traced in 1955, when China bought about 13,000 tones of cotton from Egypt to help it manage the economic sanctions that were imposed to Egypt by the West. This timely...
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