China-Africa Relations

Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

Hidden Hands behind Sudan’s Oil War

April 27, 2012 by

Once again Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir waved his walking stick in the air. Once again he spoke of splendid victories over his enemies as thousands of jubilant supporters danced and cheered. But this time around the stakes are too high. An all out war against newly independent South Sudan might not be in Sudan’s best interest.

Assessing China’s Role and Influence in Africa

March 29, 2012 by

The most important difference between the United States and China is the very structure of the American and Chinese governments and the way their respective systems engage in Africa. American commercial activity (trade, investment and bidding on contracts) in Africa is conducted by private companies with limited involvement by the U.S. government. If two or more private U.S. companies are competing for the same project, the U.S. government must be impartial, providing essentially equal help to all U.S. interested parties. When this situation occurs, my experience was that the role of the U.S. government diminishes even further.

The United States Reassesses the China-Africa Relationship

January 18, 2012 by

China, India, Brazil and Russia and even smaller non-western countries such as Turkey, Iran and Indonesia steadily have been replacing western influence in Africa throughout the first decade of the 21st century. China has contributed more to this process than any other single non-western nation and perhaps more than all of the others combined. China surpassed the United States in 2009 as the largest bilateral trading partner with the combined fifty-three countries in Africa.

Africa’s Brain Claim

December 20, 2011 by

Many lament the occurrence where a country’s top talent flees as soon as opportunity arises for further education and lucrative careers abroad. This flight is neatly and rhymingly called “brain drain”. In Africa especially, the hue and cry over the continent’s loss of its best minds began during the decade of monumental independence in the 1960s and has lasted through the beginning of the 21st century.

China-Africa Relations: The Big Picture

December 6, 2011 by

China has four hard interests in Africa’s fifty-four countries. I exclude from this list interests often cited by Beijing such as support for economic development and political stability in Africa. These are goals or objectives of Chinese policy, but they do not constitute China’s interests any more than they are interests of the United States.

China’s Growing Role in Africa: Implications for U.S. Policy

November 4, 2011 by

China generally does not discuss its “hard” interests in Africa. Rather, it emphasizes several general themes such as respect for African countries’ sovereignty and development policies, support for African development, cooperation with Africa in the United Nations and multilateral forums, and learning from each other. China also urges African countries to accept the “one China” principle by recognizing Beijing.

Great Game in the Horn of Africa

October 19, 2011 by

The United States announced this past week that it is deploying a 100-man mission to assist the Ugandan government in tracking down the remnants of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a force whose bloody conflict with the Ugandan military has devastated northern Uganda and its environs since 1987. But why now, in 2011, is the U.S. government making this commitment to combat the LRA?

South Africa, the Dalai Lama and China’s Muscular Diplomacy

October 2, 2011 by

The question of human rights is never disconnected from politics. The latest controversy over the Dalai Lama’s visa application to visit South Africa has brought the subject to the fore again. The exiled Tibetan leader has been invited to attend the former Archbishop of Cape Town and fellow Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations. He is scheduled to deliver a lecture there in the coming week.

Emerging Powers in Africa

July 12, 2011 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West saw the continent in a different way. This permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa. As some of these emerging non-African countries became economically strong, they increasingly replaced western influence and engagement in Africa, particularly in certain countries.

The Impact of China’s Growing Influence in Africa

July 12, 2011 by

China is not new to Africa but the change over the decades in its relations with the continent is as revolutionary as China’s own internal revolution. China is not new to Africa but the change over the decades in its relations with the continent is as revolutionary as China’s own internal revolution. From Mao Zedong’s leadership in 1949 until the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, China’s ideological foreign policy, Chinese internal developments and other events exogenous to Africa determined the nature of the China-Africa relationship.