Africa has been a great interest in the eyes of China. During the colonial period when major world countries were all struggling to have a piece of Africa; China was on the forefront in advocating for the liberation of African countries from colonialism. This is a fact that made China greatly stand out. This longstanding support and solidarity from China to Africa has contributed to the current friendly relationship between Africa and China (Adem 2010). The Chinese sympathy with Africa could be emanating from the fact that they both shared a common ground. This is in respect to the fact that they were both used by Africa’s colonists. Chinese labourers were used in the building of infrastructure in African countries by colonists like the Germans, the British, and also the French. During that time, chine did the unexpected; it supported the rampant liberation movements that were rising in various African states.
China was involved in the development of most African states. It helped in the construction of roads and railways, and also worked in some African mines. Another surprising aspect in the China-African relationship is the respectful distance that China has maintained. Even after supporting the liberation of African countries, one would expect China to want some favour from Africa. However, the interaction of China and Africa has remained limited in the post-colonial era, until recently (Cheng &Shi, 2009).
Naidu and his associates (2009) observed that international commentators have viewed the China-African relationship as unstable and asymmetrical. This might be due to the increased China interest in Africa. Many take the act of China rediscovering Africa as an opportunity for Africa to benefit with economic development due to China’s economic status and assistance. However, for some, China’s renewed interest awakens fears of neo colonialism and stagnation in the African states’ economic growth.
China’s interaction with Africa started a long time ago, and China has helped Africa in various ways on previous occasions. All these could be the reason why most countries do not view China’s renewed interest in Africa as threatening. China was courting Africa during the pre and post colonial times with its alliance and support during the trying times for many African states, and consequently, Africa gives China diplomatic support, and commercial benefits.
Globalisation is the integration of various countries and nations for the mutual benefits of these countries in terms of trade and economic growth, peaceful coexistence, interactions with various cultures and immigration. In as much as globalisation promises good things to African countries, there are also disadvantages associated with globalisation. It can lead to mass discontent and inequalities amongst countries. Africa marginalisation has been brought about by globalisation (Edoho, 2011). There is a decline in the investment s done by the western countries, the economic assistance and the trade being done between Africa and other countries. These are the effects of Africa’s marginalisation brought about by globalisation. Despite the fact that Africa’s economy has been on the decline, China’s economy has been on a steady growth increase of about 9% per annum over the past twenty years. This has placed China on the pedestal of the world’s super powers with a strong economy and top notch technology.
In the recent past, China’s interest in African states has raised eyebrows, especially due its pace and effect. African countries are notorious for staggering debts to other countries, especially America and Britain. In 2003, China shocked the whole world by clearing over 10 billion dollars in debt that Africa owed the states. It followed later and cleared other debts from 31 African countries. A 42% increase in the volume of business between China and African countries was noted in 2007 worth 450 billion US dollars (Edoho 2011). China has been involved in aiding African countries as early as the pre and post colonial periods. In 1977, China offered 1.5 billion worth of aid to 49 African countries (Cheng &Shi, 2009). At that time, it was still struggling to steady its own economy, but still had enough to share with needy African countries, even when other countries of the west were more interested in exploiting Africa.
The China-African relationship is a symbiotic one. The reason China renewed its interest in Africa is due to its highly growing economy. In this case, China tends to run out of raw materials and that is where Africa comes in to provide the needed raw materials. On the other hand, Africa requires financial assistance, and China is ready to give this assistance. The value of the natural resources Africa has exported in the past years has risen substantially (Adem, 2010). China getting involved in Africa back in the colonial times was a very strategic move. African countries are wary of their former colonists, but tend to trust China. This could be because China, unlike other western countries, does not meddle in the domestic affairs of the African countries. For instance, China does not threaten to withdraw aid unless an African country adheres to certain expectations. The matter of interference with internal affairs of African states by China is a source of debate. Adem (2010) argues that Chinese interference with African states internal affairs is overstated. Despite them claiming to be silent onlookers, the Chinese government does not hesitate to become active in the event where their interests are at stake. A good example is the Darfur where ideological interference was noted.
In exchange for the raw materials Africa exports to China, China has, over the years, encouraged some of its own competitive companies to invest in Africa. More than 2000 Chinese companies have invested in African countries. In this way, both countries benefit from their relationship. Though the relationship is a seemingly a symbiotic one, basing on the current status, there are also risks involved in encouraging this relationship, especially for the African countries involved.
How China gains from the China-African relationship
China has a lot to gain from Africa. The major reason being China is one superpower against many third-world countries. China can very easily support its own economy, while these African countries require aid for their economies to crawl. Adem (2010) says that African countries can win more concession favours as a group better than they can on an individual basis. Africa has a higher bargaining power for the raw materials it provides for China’s industries collectively.
China’s grip on the exportation of oil from Africa is tightening with time. Though most of the oil exports in Africa are exported to the US and Europe, the exports made to China is expected to increase in the coming years. China also knows that Africa is a virgin of raw materials. Much of Africa’s potential is still untapped. The economy of China mainly depends on its manufacturing industries; hence its relationship with African countries is very beneficial to China.
Despite the fact that investments in African states by Chinese companies benefit African states, they benefit China more. China seeks to expand its economy. Its home ground is not large enough hence its investment in Africa provides an industrial base right on the raw material sources. These Chinese companies established in African states provide some connections for China and makes export of the needed raw materials even easier. With the rise of China as a superpower, the rivalling super powers like Europe and the US obviously feel threatened by its presence. China’s way of toning down this unwanted attention is getting involved in African countries. By diverting some of its investments in Africa, it takes some attention from its growing empire and at the same time flexes its muscles more by venturing into new waters. Also, the Chinese continued support for African countries, and the aids it provides, help place China in a good light with the rest of the world. It is as if China is trying to prove that benevolent super power breeds can exist too.
China also benefits from its involvement with Africa since it enforces the ‘One China Policy’. The move by China to cancel the huge African debts to the US and Europe and its involvement in the economic growth of Africa does not just profit China economically. This is because it also endorses the ‘One China Policy’ (Naidu et al, 2009). China also gained political support and found an ally in Africa. In its struggle for one policy with Taiwan, Africa’s support for China was immense and greatly appreciated by China (Cheng &Shi, 2009).
How Africa gains from the China-African relationship
The most obvious benefit that Africa gains from its continued relationship with China is the cancellation of debts. As we have seen above, China has contributed so much to the economy of most African countries more than any other external force. China cancelled many African debts in the form of interest-free government loans in many countries in 2005 (Naidu et al, 2009). Apart from that, it has provided financial aids to African states in the recent past. China has also played a significant role in infrastructural development within the African countries. Chinese companies have constructed roads, railways, buildings, dams, telecommunication networks among others in African countries.
With most debts out of the way, thanks to China, African states are now able to attract more international investments from other countries too. This is another benefit that came to Africa as a result of its relationship with China. The involvement with China has seen African states enjoy benefits like favourable loans from Chinese banks. Most loans from other world organizations and countries usually have a high interest rate or have unreasonable conditions attached to them. The loans from China are thus a welcome break for African states.
The increasing volume of trade between African states and China has seen the steady growth of most African countries’ economy. African countries need constant expansion of their trade volume for their economies to grow. China is providing just the much needed trading partner. The increased export rates of raw materials by African countries contribute to the growing trade volume. Africa is in dire need of technology which China provides, alongside professional training. The Chinese companies that have invested in African countries bring with them much needed technology for the fast and easier completion of the construction of infrastructure. These companies also provide employment opportunities for the citizens in these countries, hence help improve the living standards of these people and contribute to the overall economic growth via the payment of taxes.
Nonetheless, though there are numerous benefits brought about by this symbiotic relationship between China and Africa, there are disadvantages associated with this too. There is no doubt that Africa is in a risk of being disadvantaged more than China should these disadvantages materialize. Edoho (2011) asserts that there is a very large possibility that China is only filling the void that was left by former colonizers after they disintegrated themselves from Africa. China comes in to be the new colonizer, masqueraded as a partner in development and a helper. Africa promises untapped raw materials for the China industrial endeavours. Though China is in the guise of true partnership, its intentions are very suspicious. No country can just support another for philanthropic reasons without having considered its own interests at first. With the benefits that China has brought Africa, it is clear that is has to be benefiting more for it to continue doing what it does in Africa. Something that cannot pass a normal observer’s eye is the fact that China does not distribute its beneficial attention to African states in an equal way; there are more interests in some states than others. For instance, there is more China interest in South Africa. This could be because South Africa is endowed with vast gold deposits whose potential is still largely untapped.
China has become more of a competitor in African countries than a helper. A philanthropist puts the needs of the party they are helping ahead. China is Africa for its own benefits. The Chinese companies that have invested in African countries compete with the local companies in these countries. China does not care about depleting the resources in Africa; it seeks to continue tapping till there is none left. The interests of China override the economical sustainability and livelihood of the countries where it invests. China’s wellbeing overrides its accountability to the citizens of the countries it claims to help. China’s cancellation of debts might have seemed heaven sent to the African countries at that time, but is just a vicious cycle created. African countries are now at an even greater risk of getting into bigger debts. With African countries finally out of debts, they focus on China as their lifeline. That is why Chinese banks are offering African countries loans with arguably better interest rates. What African countries do not know is that this is just bait. Very soon they will be in huge debts again, this time to China, their apparent saviour. Despite the fact that both China and Africa will feel the loss with the depletion of the raw materials that first attracted China to Africa, Africa is likely to suffer more. China will just look for an alternative to compensate for these raw materials. However, there will be an issue with the African states because they will have lost a major source of livelihood, and still not have enough China assets to offset the risks of its involvement with China. The economies will nosedive to worse levels than before, and it will be a real image of third world.
One might argue that China too faces risks by investing so much in Africa, but let’s face it, the risks are of a totally different nature and can China can easily find a way out. Corruption in African countries and sometimes insecurities in these countries form the major part of these risks. However, this can be termed as occupational risks. They are worthy risks in the sense that the benefits China is likely to make from these investments outweigh the risks by far. Whether the involvement of China and African countries is positive or negative, it will still remain speculative and theoretical. This is because China has always been in the side-lines on Africa’s issues, but its recent interest has caused a wave of change in Africa, much of which has been positive. No one can tell whether the effect will change with time as it is still early to tell the greater impacts to come. China is not known to have any pattern at all, so it is quite difficult to predict its next move or course of action. China is a little different from the western powers that had dominated Africa. Even its ideology about the world order is different hence Africa does not know what to expect. This can be very frustrating and nerving as no country would want a repeat of the colonial era.
Our Service Charter
Excellent Quality / 100% Plagiarism-FreeWe employ a number of measures to ensure top quality essays. The papers go through a system of quality control prior to delivery. We run plagiarism checks on each paper to ensure that they will be 100% plagiarism-free. So, only clean copies hit customers’ emails. We also never resell the papers completed by our writers. So, once it is checked using a plagiarism checker, the paper will be unique. Speaking of the academic writing standards, we will stick to the assignment brief given by the customer and assign the perfect writer. By saying “the perfect writer” we mean the one having an academic degree in the customer’s study field and positive feedback from other customers.
Free RevisionsWe keep the quality bar of all papers high. But in case you need some extra brilliance to the paper, here’s what to do. First of all, you can choose a top writer. It means that we will assign an expert with a degree in your subject. And secondly, you can rely on our editing services. Our editors will revise your papers, checking whether or not they comply with high standards of academic writing. In addition, editing entails adjusting content if it’s off the topic, adding more sources, refining the language style, and making sure the referencing style is followed.
Confidentiality / 100% No DisclosureWe make sure that clients’ personal data remains confidential and is not exploited for any purposes beyond those related to our services. We only ask you to provide us with the information that is required to produce the paper according to your writing needs. Please note that the payment info is protected as well. Feel free to refer to the support team for more information about our payment methods. The fact that you used our service is kept secret due to the advanced security standards. So, you can be sure that no one will find out that you got a paper from our writing service.
Money Back GuaranteeIf the writer doesn’t address all the questions on your assignment brief or the delivered paper appears to be off the topic, you can ask for a refund. Or, if it is applicable, you can opt in for free revision within 14-30 days, depending on your paper’s length. The revision or refund request should be sent within 14 days after delivery. The customer gets 100% money-back in case they haven't downloaded the paper. All approved refunds will be returned to the customer’s credit card or Bonus Balance in a form of store credit. Take a note that we will send an extra compensation if the customers goes with a store credit.
24/7 Customer SupportWe have a support team working 24/7 ready to give your issue concerning the order their immediate attention. If you have any questions about the ordering process, communication with the writer, payment options, feel free to join live chat. Be sure to get a fast response. They can also give you the exact price quote, taking into account the timing, desired academic level of the paper, and the number of pages.