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China-Africa and an Economic Transformation$
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Arkebe Oqubay and Justin Yifu Lin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830504.001.0001

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China–Africa Ties in Historical Context

China–Africa Ties in Historical Context

Chapter:
(p.61) Chapter 4 China–Africa Ties in Historical Context
Source:
China-Africa and an Economic Transformation
Author(s):

David H. Shinn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198830504.003.0004

From Mao Zedong’s seizure of power in 1949 until the early 1990s, China focused more intensely on its political relationship with Africa than its economic ties. During this period China was more concerned about support for African liberation movements, competition with Taiwan, the ‘One China’ principle, and dealing with internal challenges such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Deng Xiaoping era witnessed a reduction of China’s engagement in Africa while the Jiang Zemin period set the stage for significant advancement. By Hu Jintao’s arrival early in the twenty-first century, the China–Africa relationship had become based predominantly on economic interests, especially China’s desire to access African raw materials. It began with trade and expanded into Chinese outward investment in Africa. By 2009, China had overtaken the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. So far, the Xi Jinping era has resulted in a greater focus on protection of Chinese interests in Africa, security cooperation, and a levelling off and even decline in China’s economic engagement.

Keywords:   aid, diplomacy, FOCAC, history, investment, security, soft power, trade

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