China’s Post-Cold War Strategy in Africa
This chapter begins with a brief historical overview of Sino-African relations. It explores the development of Beijing's strategy, with particular attention to China's contemporary objectives and methods, while highlighting key bilateral relationships and the implications of China's approach for African nations and the United States. Beijing employs methods that can be grouped into the following categories: China's "soft approach", agricultural and technical assistance, investment and economic support, military patronage and peacekeeping, and diplomatic support. China's soft approach refers to humanitarian, cultural, and educational projects aimed at promoting China's image and influence. Africa is now a component in China's larger strategy to cultivate political support, bolster its claims to Taiwan, acquire energy and natural resources, and secure its commercial interests. Since the end of the Cold War, a largely indifferent Russia and a United States preoccupied with engagements stretching from the Middle East to Northeast Asia have afforded China an historic opportunity to engage Africa.