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

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