China in Africa: Partner, Competitor or Hegemon? (African Arguments)
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Nowhere in the world is China’s rapid rise to power more evident than in Africa. From multi-billion dollar investments in oil and minerals to the influx of thousands of merchants, laborers and cheap consumer goods, China’s economic and political reach is redefining Africa’s traditional ties with the international community. This book investigates the emerging relationship between China and Africa to determine whether this engagement will be that of a development partner, economic competitor or new hegemony. Alden argues that in order to understand Chinese involvement on the continent, we need to recognize the range of economic, diplomatic and security rationales behind Beijing’s Africa policy as well as the response of African elites to China’s entreaties. Only then can the new challenges and opportunities for Africa and the West be accurately assessed.
in petroleum products) were all established at the same time and, with the innovations that followed, such as listing on foreign stock exchanges in the late 1990s, set the pace for the emergence of the ﬁrst Chinese multinational corporations. The 15th Party Congress’s declaration in 1997 that all but the largest state corporations in key economic sectors should be privatized (zhuada fangxiao, ‘grasping the large and releasing the small’), solidiﬁed the formation of the hybrid Chinese MNC, at the
taking on an ideological tint, pitting two visions of foreign partnership with Africa against one another. For African leaders, this competitive environment has proved to be an unexpected boon, throwing a lifeline to faltering market economies and recalcitrant dictators alike, and presenting them with fresh opportunities to attract foreign capital and enhance regime security. At the same time, however, the relentless pace of foreign acquisitions of African resources and competing forms of
the Japanese government’s hosting of the G8 summit in Okinawa included an unprecedented invitation to selected African leaders to participate, a move that fed into its own sputtering African initiative, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). TICAD had emerged out of the Global Coalition for Africa’s call in 1989 for a fresh approach to African problems through the creation of a new partnership for development between donors and recipients. The Japanese initiative
development assistance to Africa and channel it to recognized participants, including direct transfers of funds to enhance the performance of governments in critical areas such as ﬁnancial management, as outlined in the Africa Action Plan agreed by the G8 at Kananaskis. The IMF and the World Bank were expected to support this process through their own programming strategies, and donors generally were encouraged to support the initiative by coordinating their development assistance to conform to
resonates with many African elites, for whom the unadulterated use of conditionalities by Western donors has been seen as a threat to their own position. These fundamental principles form the basis of the new terms of engagement as expressed by China. As presented, however, they still did not address what is an unprecedented and concerted surge of investment, political ties and migration by Chinese interests into Africa. For this, the authorities in Beijing turned to the historical past for