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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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Evolving Debates and Outlooks on China–Africa Economic Ties

Evolving Debates and Outlooks on China–Africa Economic Ties

(p.84) Chapter 5 Evolving Debates and Outlooks on China–Africa Economic Ties
China-Africa and an Economic Transformation

Chris Alden

Oxford University Press

China and Africa’s economic relations have evolved over time, from the tentative commercial engagements characteristic of the early 1980s to the comprehensive infrastructure loans and increased foreign direct investment being pursued across all sectors today. Expanding economic ties have been accompanied by changing debates as to the nature of China–Africa engagement and its significance for their respective development aspirations. South–South cooperation, for instance, framed the approach in this first phase of intensifying economic relations and reflected the combination of technical assistance, grant aid, and concessional loans negotiated by Chinese and Africans in exchange for access to the continent’s abundant resources. As African economies came to demonstrate sustained patterns of higher rates of growth and two-way trade with China grew proportionally, the debates shifted decidedly towards one that focused on economic complementarities between them and Africa’s integration into global value chains. Furthermore, as the African industrialization process intensifies in economies like Ethiopia, China’s key role in development finance and its sectoral experience put it in a crucial position to promote this new phase of development on the continent.

Keywords:   China–Africa economic cooperation, Chinese development, African development, special economic zones, South–South cooperation, models, policy learning, policy transfer, structural transformation

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