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

Breeanna Campbell

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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?

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