Neo-patrimonialism and extraversion in China’s relations with Angola and Mozambique
Using the lens of extraversion and neo-patrimonialism, this chapter explores whether China is transforming or conforming to the dominant structural dynamics of Africa’s external relations, and how this is affecting Beijing’s distinctive approach to managing relations with the continent. It argues that the structural dynamics of China’s relationship with both cases largely conforms to extraversion patterns and collusion with neo-patrimonialist ruling elites, and that this complicity with dominant African agents is constraining China’s ability to pursue its unique approach. It is grounded in an analysis of China’s relations with Angola and Mozambique, both significant cases, and finds that the structural dynamics of bilateral relations do not seem to differ much from the way these states relate to Western powers. Angola and Mozambique may be looking East but ruling elite agency remains largely subservient to the logic of extraversion. Rather than ascertaining African standing in bilateral relations, this type of agency may in reality only be deepening African dependency on China as ruling elites perfect their ability to extract resources from yet another external power.