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China in Africa

China in Africa

Chris Alden


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Book Details


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, labourers 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 hegemon. 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.
'Chris Alden has written the first substantive book on China-Africa relations in three decades. Anyone wishing to understand the complexities of China's engagement with Africa must read this fine study.' David Shambaugh, George Washington University & The Brookings Institution 'In the welter of badly-thought and badly-written work now being rushed into print on China in Africa, Chris Alden's book is an excellently-balanced and judicious exception.' Stephen Chan, SOAS, University of London 'In this elegant and engaging study, Chris Alden brings together the key pieces that define the complex mosaic of China's recent engagement in Africa. Analytically sophisticated and drawing on an impressive vein of evidence, this book must be welcomed both as an illuminating account and for its measured judgment.' Garth le Pere, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa 'In this short and readable book, Chris Alden provides a clear overview of China's involvement with Africa. It is a fascinating story, which will become more interesting and more important in the years to come.' The Economist 'The companion volume to Zed's "The United States in Africa".' North South 'For me, the best and most coherent approach to the political economy of China in Africa is given by Chris Alden in his short engagingly written book....' Review of African Political Economy. No. 115. 2008 'A useful analysis of China’s increasing economic role in Africa.' Chartist 'Alden's book answers the need for a measured review of China-Africa relations. Alden combines judicious analysis with a balanced, authoritative survey of the context and nature of current relations' 'Unlike those commentators who have rushed to pronounce and prescribe, he captures the rich potential and sense of dynamism that China has catalysed in Africa with a grounded appreciation of the challenges and constraints ... This is important' 'Alden's account is well-calibrated, especially when empirical research on "the content and context of Chinese involvement in Africa is desperately needed."' TLS
Chris Alden is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the LSE. He has researched and published on Asian-African relations for over fifteen years. He has previously taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, and held research fellowships at the University of Tokyo, the Ecole Normale Superieure and the University of Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents\r vii
Acknowledgements viii
Abbreviations x
Introduction 1
Partner, competitor or colonizer? 5
Book outline 7
1 | China’s new foreign policy towards Africa 8
The development of China’s foreign policy towards Africa 9
History and solidarity in the forging of China’s Africa policy 15
Diplomacy and development assistance 20
Structures and institutions of Chinese foreign policy towards Africa 27
The politics of diplomacy and recognition 32
Conclusion: China rising, Africa swooning 34
2 | The Chinese in Africa: capitalists, comrades and carpet-baggers 37
The emerging Chinese MNC 38
Chinese small and medium businesses 47
Chinese settlers in Africa 50
Conclusion: exporting Chinese capitalism 56
3 | Africa turns east 59
Pariah regimes 60
Illiberal regimes and weak democracies 66
Democracies with diversified economies 70
Zambia: China’s ‘perfect storm’ 72
African diplomacy responds to China 76
The textiles dispute 79
African civil society discovers China 82
Conclusion 89
4 | Between hope and fear: Western reactions to China 93
The West’s new partnership with Africa 93
The Chinese challenge to the West in Africa 102
The West and China: competition, confrontation or cooperation? 105
The changing international context of China’s Africa policy 114
Conclusion 118
5 | Consolidating China–Africa relations 120
Understanding China’s role in Africa 125
The future 128
Conclusion 135
Notes 137
Index 152