Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ethiopia: The Dragon’s Quest in Africa

Zelalem, ethiopiaforums.com

Image from article, with caption: Chinese conductor Ding Jihua (L) trains the Ethiopian attendants at a railway station in suburban Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct. 1, 2016

No discussion of the resurgence of China and its relationship with African countries would be complete without a review of the China-Africa policy which began decades ago, and which appeared in at least three phases. This article provides an executive review of the development of the China-Africa policy, and attempts to shed some light on the ongoing controversy that China is simply a twenty-first-century colonizer. The applicability or utility of a totalitarian capitalist system to the African experience is not part of this piece. That requires another article. As a consequence, the aim here is not to provide a slew of policy alternatives—that should be left to policy experts of each country. Rather, the aim is to provide a synopsis of the genesis of the Sino-African development policy along with the conditions and outcomes that ensued. Thus, what follows is a review based upon pre-eminent previous work by others. ...
China’s “state-centric” engagement with Africa is based on the principle of sovereignty and non-interference, and is driven by and to:
  • Acquire the needed natural resources: energy supply, and export market for a growing economy
  • Ascertain its belief that its development model is instructive to Africa
  • Strengthen diplomatic alliances essential to support its global ambitions which are becoming more aggressive. “As China’s economy has skyrocketed in recent decades, it has shored up its efforts in Africa. China has expanded trade and infrastructure projects, increased its commitment to peacekeeping missions and strengthened its military presence on the continent.” (Gaby Galvin, 2017). (The Silk Road initiative, and China’s acquisition of a military base in Djibouti are just two examples).
To facilitate these objectives, China continues to employ a mix of strategies, including:
  • The use of public diplomacy (FOCAC) ...

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