Week 8

The article by Taylor looks at India’s rise in Africa, and its predicted dominance over future years. In the beginning of the article, the author states that in the future New Delhi wants to gain a seat on the UN Security Council. This was the first fact Taylor stated that surprised me. With only 5 permanent members on the Security Council and only 10 more which are non-permanent, the fact that New Delhi wants to emerge to be a member was surprising to me. The author continues to state that India’s economy is the fastest growing today in the world, and in the future it will surpass the US as the worlds second largest economy, behind China (p. 780). Before reading this article I knew that India was an upcoming economy, however I did not know that it was soon projected to be the second largest in the world. The facts the author provides in the beginning about India is informative and also good to bring because it illustrates to the reader how important India’s economy will be in the future. Later in the article Taylor looks at Indian aid in Africa. I find this important to look at when he is trying to prove the point that India is an emerging economic superpower. The process India has taken from receiving donations from other countries to being the donor country is important to analyze in this context because it shows the transition India has been through in the past few decades. When reading this article, I wondered to what means India had to go through to make this transition? The article focuses on how India is now a more developed economy, however it fails to look at how this change was made and when. The article by Patey looks at India coming into a war torn Sudan in order to gain profit from their native oil. This article stated that it was due to the exit of western oil companies in the early 2000s which opened the doors for India to come into Sudan. However, I feel like this would not be the case, for even if the west was still extracting oil from Sudan, I think that India would still have come in and also used Sudan’s oil. I think this is an important and overlooked point in the article because dominant and rich countries, such as the west and soon to be India, feel that they can exploit any country for their profit. I think this is something that deserves more attention in the article, for the author only provides facts about India coming into Sudan for oil, but it does not address how Sudan is being continuously exploited for their resources. When viewing this article, I wondered why this was the case and why often times authors choose to not focus on why the issues are happening but instead they simply focus on what is happening? I think for the future the why question will become more important as resources deplete and incoming countries taking from other, poorer, countries, are questioned.



Week 7

This week’s focus was China’s role in the development in Africa and the relationship between the two. I thought the readings complimented each other well and managed to give a well-rounded view of both the pros and cons of China’s involvement in Africa, while also touching on the African diaspora in parts of China.

I would like to begin with the Chris Alden and Ana Cristina Alves, History and Identity in the Construction of China’s Africa Policy which I felt gave a great background to the development of China and Africa’s relationship. I had learned in a previous class about China’s investment in African countries but I had been under the impression it was something new, with this article I learned that their relationship has been developing for many years and that a unique characteristic that brings them together is how they had both fallen victim to Western colonization and imperialism.

The next article by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza titled The Africa-China relationship: Challenges and Opportunities, examines some of the pros and cons to the relationship. An interesting point that seemed to be repeated throughout the article is that China, identifying as a developing country (along with countries in Africa), has managed to be so successful in its reforms and climb towards becoming a “developed” nation through what some might consider alternative methods/reforms to what had previously been prescribed (Washington vs. Beijing Consensus) and because of this they may have advice or a better idea of what countries within Africa may want to adjust within their reforms. In the conclusion Zeleza included some prescriptions for African countries to keep in mind so that this relationship does not become one sided and I thought these were interesting and a nice addition.

And lastly, From Guangzhou to Yiwu: Emerging facets of the African Diaspora in China by Adams B. Bodomo discusses the other aspect of the China-Africa relationship where there is a substantial population of African migrants moving to China. In this article he specifically talks about Yiwu and Guangzhou, where he explains how in two cities you have certain African backgrounds moving to either and how differently they are treated.

While it had been mentioned, I thought it was interesting how the relationship that is being examined is between one country and an entire continent. I have noticed that in a lot of literature Africa is generally reduced down to one big single entity, when in reality the diversity is incredibly vast. Also, it was discussed that China’s relationship with Africa is to be a well-rounded one (not purely economic), as to relieve any hesitations countries in Africa may have in being exploited once again as they had been (still are) by the West, I am curious to see how it evolves in the future on both ends and how the US responds to this.

– Jennifer

Week 7: China in Africa/Africa in China

Africa-China relationships have experienced dramatic growth through recent decades and in the article The Africa-China relationship: challenges and opportunities, Zeleza explores the factors behind the development of these relations through economic growth and the challenges and opportunities associated with both regions. He critiques the lack of knowledge and narrative around the more complex reality of Africa’s relationship with China and emphasizes their deeply rooted history throughout a time of major changes in the global political economy. This article takes an optimistic view of China’s involvement within Africa and their recognition of Africa as a profitable investment, while at the same time giving African countries an alternative ideology to Western imperialist reflexes. He also provides insight on the unequal bilateral relationship of China with 54 countries of the African continent. I found this to be interesting because it touches on the importance of Africa establishing their own interests and development goals in order to ensure economic stability and emergence in the global economy. As long as China is involved in Africa, do you think it is possible for Africa to act collectively in articulating their interests to ensure self-determination and sustainable development?

         History & Identity in the Construction of China’s Africa Policy written by Alden and Alves examines China’s historical approach in establishing a contemporary relationship with Africa. China became a leading developing country after their self-proclaimed foreign policy, and their foreign policy aims in Africa have been products of wider international aims, for example the cold war. What I found very important here was the necessity to take into consideration the historical implication of China Africa relations and how past experiences, relationships and other factors are determinant of their relationship. China is not solely interested in the exploitation of African resources and Alden and Alves highlight that calling upon history, in an increasingly economic relationship, reassures the Chinese lack of interest in exploitation or Chinese colonialism. Do you think that China’s historical relationship with Africa is legitimate to ensure that they will not exploit African economy, or do you feel as though it could be seen as just a useful tool in establishing trust?

The final article we read for this week was From Guangzhou to Yiwu: Emerging facets of the African Diaspora in China written by Bodomo and Ma. This article was interesting because it focuses on Africans and their receptions in cities throughout China. Since a lot of research and academic studies surround the Chinese city of Guangzhou, their focus is on the city of Yiwu and its rising market and large commodities. The commodities market is very large and the trade market is continually growing. The interview with Wufei stuck out to me because we have read a lot about China in Africa, but it was good to hear about an African who is experiencing such success in Chinese markets and in their cities. I also found it surprising that because there were fewer Africans in Yiwu, they were treated with more respect and civility than in Guangzhou whose immigration laws cracked down after the 2008 Olympics. Is it plausible to assume that if Yiwu continues to develop into an international trade centre, the African population within the city will experience similar discrimination and interrogation as those in Guangzhou?

Week Seven: China in Africa, Africa in China

The three readings this week focus on Sino-African relations. The first article, by Paul Zeleza, offers an expansive and somewhat nuanced account of some of the most vital dialogues on China’s ever growing involvement in Africa. We learn from Zeleza that there are two major sides in the debate on China in Africa: on one hand, there are those who believe China to be a well-intentioned, amicable partner in the structural and idealogical war against western imperialism. On the other hand, there are those who are just as skeptical about China’s involvement in Africa as they are about the west’s involvement on the continent. The latter group believe, as Zeleza points out, that instead of being an amicable partner, China is in fact a self-interested competitor looking to do to Africa what the west has done. Much of Zeleza’s article is concerned with reconciling these opposing views, and he concludes that in order to achieve sustainable development, Africa must deal with China as collectively as they can.

The second article, by Chris Alden and Cristina Alves, offers in contrast a strictly historical account of China’s Africa policy. It offers the reader a glimpse into how China has manipulated, to a certain extent, or over-exaggerated its ties with Africa in order to construct the image of a benevolent, innocuous developing country that can do no harm to the continent of Africa.

The third article, on which this response focuses less of its attention, is by Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma. Bodomo and Ma discusse the dichotomy between the treatment of Africans in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Yiwu. We learn that there exists in the two cities a vast, ever-growing population of Africans. In Guangzhou, the Africans are met with animosity by the locals; meanwhile, in Yiwu, the Africans are met with hospitality, and a recognition of their added value to the local economy. For this reason, the authors state, Yiwu has “eclipsed” Guangzhou — economically, of course, but also culturally and politically.

Keeping in mind the first two articles by Zeleza and Alden et. al. one discovers what the burgeoning relationship between China and Africa means. As Zeleza rightfully pointed out, Africa has for centuries been reduced perniciously into a “hapless tabula rasa always waiting for the inscription of development models from elsewhere.” Africa, in this sense, is an entity in perpetual need of help, and in this sense, since it cannot fend for itself, it must cling to strangers bearing gifts like an infant does to its mother. Hence, since Africa is no more an infant than China or Europe is, it must stop conducting itself like one, and instead develop an agency for itself that will render strangers’ gifts useless. One way to do this, like Zeleza suggests, is for the continent to deal for the continent to deal collectively with China; but since this pan-Africanist ideal is highly improbable, perhaps the onus lies on African leaders to instigate a developmental push that is reminiscent of China’s.

Moyosore Arewa

Week 7 Response: China in Africa/Africa in China

With regards to the social impacts of African-Chinese migrations and relations, xenophobia does exist and it is a social ill of which both groups of people are guilty. The short film by Films Media Group touched on the racial misunderstandings of some Chinese through one of the African women’s testimonies where she described that her skin colour was a scornful spectacle in the Guangzhou area. On the other hand, in my personal experience, I noticed within my first few hours of being at Kotoka Airport in Ghana that security personnel at the airport were interrogating Chinese immigrants very harshly and it was apparent to all witnesses that not only was this being done because of sheer discrimination, but also factoring in the language barriers that exist between some Chinese and African people. That being said, it is important to note however that there are many stories of triumph over these barriers of ignorance i.e. willful Chinese-African marriages, families, collaborations etc. Also, after watching this film I am curious as to the deliberateness behind the easier accessibility of a VISA to China than to parts of Europe or North America for Africans. I believe this accessibility gives much way to the increased African Diaspora in Asian countries. I was initially looking forward to this week’s readings as I am guilty of only viewing China-Africa relations as the critiques would by seeing it as a form of neo-colonialism whereby Africans are completely exploited by an un-entitled outside entity that deems itself superior. Whilst holding this view, I was also turning a blind eye to all economic and structural benefits of these relations and so I appreciate Zeleza’s arguments.

While many still disagree on the most accurate categorization of China as either a developed or developing nation, most would still classify China as, technically, a part of the Global South and so it is almost refreshing to be able to have a discussion on this topic as it nourishes the idea of South-South global relationships, all whilst diverging from the typical comparison of the South to the North.

Video: This short documentary sheds light on the illegality and overall negative effects of Chinese gold mining in Ghana.

“The price of gold: Chinese mining in Ghana documentary | Guardian Investigations”


Is it the growing possibilities of mutual benefits mentioned in Bodomo and Ma’s article and in the short film by Films Media Group that are framing China’s involvement in Africa as less severe/harmful relative to the West’s imposition on African countries? Has this and other benefits for African states, such as improved infrastructure and boosted markets, allowed observers of this relation to overlook the illegality of some Chinese presence in African states as well as the human rights and environmental abuses that are perpetuated by industries like the mining industry?

If African states are able to come up with the most durable responses to Chinese imposition in the next decade, in terms of developmental and accountability policies for this relationship, what does this say about the future of Africa and about the single narrative that has existed concerning African’s [lack of] self-sustainability and independence?

Week 7

Alden and Alves spin China off as a lesser evil when it comes to investment and diplomacy ties in Africa since its ascendency to a communist state in 1949, this maintains until pretty much the last sentence of the article, to follow is a semi- self aware conclusion section that does not provide nearly enough critique simply settling on the notion of bi-lateral amnesia between actors to progress if all else fails. The author stresses how Foreign Policy can shape a national identity almost trying to make the leap that sound foreign policy is directly related to a stable nation who have risen under the drive and conscious construction of the”national myth”. It was hard to understand where this point remained relevant because it could be so easily contested. China’s presence in Africa seemed to be pre-dominantly trade oriented, while also influenced by past regimes granting or denying mobility to reach the continents shores. The article’s main theme is that Chinese foreign policy as of recent, has harnessed the commonality of sharing a common history of colonial oppression and economic ties to further develop sound economic and diplomatic relations with different nations throughout the continent. Mostly those of which have great resource potential (funnelling loan grants and aid incentives into these destination) as well as those who have had long standing political relations and who have recognized Beijing since the Bandung conference or following the successive recruitment strategies during the Cold War timeline. The article although trying to indicate that Chinese imperialist efforts have been modest at most (informal formal policy instruments), creates the notion that China’s history and connectedness has almost been fait oriented or purposefully less intrusive and more sympathetic of African states and this is geared to bring the South-South idea into the conversation which has supposedly fastened China and Africa together. When I read this article I see convenience not shared struggle, I see a history that just so happened to always been undermined by an even worse history and that China if they had had the foresight, innovativeness or global presence may have not sought the peaceful stability approaches of foreign policy when addressing Africa. It seems almost out of sheer luck that the country has been able to call upon favourable instances of history to permeate the nations who together comprise of one third of UN votes and have the best mineral resource potential on the planet. As we have learned, China was alongside the other competing world ideologies in the Cold War arming and training guerrillas and taking over communicative outlets in Ghana, Niger, the DRC and Mozambique. Perhaps China has realized this strike of luck (without doubt they have) having always been the shadow of a far worse oppressive force and has utilized this to their advantage and while perhaps some genuine sentiments do exist at the diplomatic level, as a industrial country on the rise why would their approach to hegemonic power not include the most important initiative of securing resources. In addition it seems in Africa as we learn of China’s influence in states across the continent, messing up and losing political or popular favouritism in one country does not echo over to the next country who might have an even more lucrative mineral deposit or crude oil field, this idea shows a divide of communicative and cultural statuses as well as a continent that does not hinge it’s relations in unison to its neighbour state. Bodomo & Ma indicate in their article that the exchanges of migration between Africa and China is that of a two way channel, which has been beneficial for commerce and has allowed China to experience further growth trading internationally while offering prosperous jobs to African migrants. Although new city centres and trade capitals are emerging in central China these destinations particularly Guangzhou have created difficulty by reign of corruption and cultural profiling for African immigrants who are not Arab Africans to live comfortably and confidently in the areas. It is suggested this signifies how Chinese expats are treated abroad in Africa and also that there is not complete saliency between shared histories bringing identities together to mutually benefit. It is also mentioned that African’s do not concentrate in Diasporas as Chinese do when migratory patterns settle and that for the most part flows of migration between China and Africa have largely been accepted.

The dialogue, economic exchanges and transparency initiatives seem applaudable at this point but could this be because China has not gotten their hands as dirty as the West’s yet? Are they ascending to power through means of good diplomacy only to one day be presented with the opportunity of taking the hot seat to consolidate world power and reverse these current policies?

Why does the city at large of Guangzhou feel threatened or pressured to profile Black Africans in the trading sector? What has lead to this, is it perhaps South East Asian culture not to immediately accept or naturalize immigrants?

week 7

Week 7 discussion

Yazan Al-Thibeh

This week’s readings expresses the aspects within the fields of economics, social and political policies, with the relationship between Africa and China. The first article by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza discusses how Africa and China has seen rapid economic growth within recent years. The partnership between the two nations helps elevate trade, foreign investment and growth in technology. For many years Africa and China have gone through many economic, social and political cycles, however these cycles are not homogametic. I liked how he focused on China’s vast interest and involvement in foreign investment. This shows how China is willing to take risks in working alongside governments, instead of forcing other ways to do business or projects. In business, one model that you learn is the dragon tale, where people who invest into a plan that can be executed with an outstanding management team will do wonders. I concur with the author when he expresses that China sees Africa as an investment opportunity due many economic and natural resource opportunities. However I do believe that China’s desire in foreign investments is propelling many African economies.

The second article by Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma, talk about Africans who started businesses in China and how they are treated in the Chinese economy. I really enjoyed this article more than Paul Tiyambe Zeleza article since it gave a different perspective on how Africans are being treated and how their investments are doing in China. This article shows how much of an economic and social impact Africans have within a different nation, and how they are contributing to the Chinese society. The article also talks about how Yiwi and Guangzhou, two of the largest commodity and financial markets in China, and how In Yiwi Africans are treated very well. The city of Guangzhou, many Africans have a hard time living their life, many notice discrimination within the Chinese culture and many Africans have a hard time ruining their work Visa’s. The city of Yiwi accepted Africans within their culture, business relations, and the practice of their own religion.

The third article by Chris Alden and Ana Cristina Alves, explores the shared history of policy making within Africa and how it affects foreign policy. This article made me wonder if China is a neocolonial that tries to be superior to the local citizens in Africa. This article expresses how china is evolving into a super power within the international community and is creating their norms and policies to benefit themselves. This article did not talk about how china is using their power to control many economic and social policies in doing businesses, threatening to seize aid and debt, this is discussed in Zeleza article.


Do you believe since there is a finite amount of resources in the world that China is trying to take advantage of African nations, or do you think this is a permutated partnership to help both nations?

With China investing more capital in Africa, how do you see foreign investments and policies change within the next five years in Africa? Do you think in the future that international actors will facilitate and try to implement new policies to better African citizens?

Week 7 – Emerging Powers- China in Africa/Africa in China

Breeanna Campbell


The readings for this week focused on the relationship between two of the largest emerging powers, Africa and China. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza’s article The Africa-China relationship: Challenges and Opportunities discusses various opinions regarding this complex relationship. However, the idea that resignated most with me from this article is how he inherently reinforces the idea that western way is only a “single story”. There are a variety of other methods, practices and models that can be used that can also create positive impacts and form successful relationships. This article provides an optimistic outlook into this notion.

The next article, History and Identity in the Construction of China’s African policy, is written by Chris Alden and Ana Alves’. This article explores the historical similarities between the two countries, illustrating how they are very similar in that they were both colonized and are both still classified as developing. This article demonstrates the healthy and balanced relationship between China and Africa, exemplifying that they each provide an equal need for the partnership.

The final article is From Guangzhou to Yiwu: Emerging Facets of the African Diaspora in China, by Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma. This article provides a completely different perceptive to the relationship, I personally had never considered. It is a very interesting, engaging and unique outlook that displays an essential piece of this dynamic relationship. The socio-economic factors that enable the two countries to connect and share is an important aspect that should be further investigated. As the author explains, in order to build a better relationship, and allow the possibilities of growth and prosperity to reach the full potential, the two governments should restructure their immigration/emigration policies in order to facilitate better mobility and exchange of wisdom/labour.

All three of these articles address the benefits of this relationship, however I am concerned that there are many aspects that are costly or harmful to either country. Can a partnership truly be equal, or will one side always benefit more than the other?

Week 7

GS 405 Week 7 Blog


Jordan Petruska 110173680



The readings for this week focus on the fascinating relationship between Africa and China both quickly are becoming emerging powers on the global stage. All three of these articles examine the critical characteristics of the Africa-China relationship and all of these authors do a stellar job in providing detailed summaries of the complexity involving the relations between these two giant markets.


The first article we looked at was Paul Tiyambe Zeleza’s The Afrcia-China relationship: Challenges and Opportunities. This particular article examines the emerging and modifying relations between China and the continent of Africa. China’s rise and Africa’s renaissance have gone hand in hand, creating a historic opportunity for the development of China-Africa relations. This international partnership is vibrant as Chinese investors are viewing the African markets as a dynamic opportunity to expand economic development and prosperity. Zeleza identifies the negative outlook that has been over amplified by the media and the reality is that the Africa-China relationship is a booming situation, which should potentially bring promise and expansion for both economies. Zeleza confirms that it is essential for African states to institute a more socialized agenda to further build on their sustainable and self-determination progress.


The second article was Chris Alden and Ana Alves’ History and Identity in the Construction of China’s African policy, which focuses on the historical similarities between the two markets on how they were both, colonized and remain to be developing nations. Chinese investors feel a sense of solidarity with African states as they are very similar and are emerging markets. This will continue to enable a positive relation with African states as their similarities provide a further desire to expand development.


Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma’s From Guangzhou to Yiwu was the third article and takes a look on African diasporas in China to examine African and China’s social setting surrounding their alliance. Bodomo and Ma study the rise in African migrants in Yiwu to gather more experience in the business-trading sector as a result of the emerging commodity markets in China. It becomes apparent that Africa and China should rearrange their immigration and migration laws such as freedom of mobility, equality and diversity, and to promote safe and comfortable living and working conditions to help make the Africa-China relationship more sustainable.


These three articles bring up a number of beneficial ideas and aspects to expand the economic development in Africa and China. It also raises a few questions that I would like to bring up.

  • What kind of industry do Chinese investors look into when entrusting money into Africa?
  • What role does the United States play in regards to Chinese investments in Africa?


Week 7: Emerging Powers: China in Africa/Africa in China

The readings this week discussed the involvement of Africa in China and the very multi-dimensional and complex history that is involved. I found that these three readings all complimented each other well because each article took on a different approach to Africa in China. For example, the article “The Africa-China relationship: challenges and opportunities” discussed the ‘cheerleaders’ of Africa in china along with its critics. Some of these benefits include representing a strong relationship between Africa and China which is rooted in the struggles against Western imperialism and humanistic aspirations for development. Though, its critics suggest that due to the history of Africa with providing cheap raw materials the Chinese could be exploiting the export market and could result in surplus capital. This article takes an economic and political stance to properly examine the challenges and opportunities that these relations face on a larger scale. The second article takes a different approach by examining the Africa-China relations at a local level. The article, “From Guangzhou to Yiwu: Emerging facets of the African Diaspora in China” compares how Africans are received in Guangzhou and Yiwu and that due to the treatment of Africans by law-enforcement there has been a negative reception of Africans, specifically how Yiwu is now the most predominant places for Africans because the law-enforcement officers are less corrupt and ore racially tolerant.  In reaching their conclusion of research they conducted ethnographic first person interviews including one where the interviewee explained, “The verbal brutality was shocking! It was like a flashback to apartheid south Africa”  The issues on the Africa-China relation stem from the local level and is not just about adopting a Western ideology through a political stand point. On the other hand, the third article “History & Identity in the Construction of China’s Africa Policy” emphasizes on the historical context that has brought Africa into China. This topic which is extremely important to fully understand the impact that Africa in China truly possesses because of the controversy of China using a “Western” approach

Today though there is still much tension between Africa and China, where as there is an idea of “neo-colonial China”. Since 2013, China’s trade with Africa topped $166 billion and both governments are hoping that there eventually can become a no strings attached trade system between Asia and Africa. Though moving forward, Chinese people have argued that Asia modernity cannot be judged through Western intrusions and following the narrative history of the West cannot work for Asia because they are so different. In the article “History & Identity in the Construction of China’s Africa Policy” explains that there is an underlying purpose that marks Chinese foreign policy out from western approaches which have by and large been content to avoid in the past. This leads to

  1. Why does China deserve such respect when it systematically views the African World from a European viewpoint?
  2. Can China be the leader of developing underdeveloped countries

J. Flood 110271250