In this article, the author draws attention to the contradiction between China and Western countries. He compares the Chinese leaders’ proclamations and what may actually be behind their words. The main idea that China is trying to establish its power in Africa is conveyed through several facts.
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The article begins with the concept of colonialism. It is underlined that China’s policy seems to be similar to the European approach in the 19th century, although Wang Yi, the foreign minister, denies it. While China positions itself as the advocate of political justice, economic well-being, and mutual benefit, the factual state of affairs gives ground to suspect the country of less virtuous plans. However, the rivalry is not openly discussed: for example, Barak Obama did not mention China by name, although it was clear what he meant (Smith, 2015). At the same time, the author explains, America regards China as a combative adversary in secret.
Another issue touches upon economic realms. Initially, China collaborated with African countries across agriculture, health, and infrastructure-related projects from schools to stadiums (Smith, 2015). Nevertheless, it managed to expand its influence in other spheres, including oil production. More than 50% of China’s foreign aid ($14 billion) was reportedly spent on assistance to African nations in 2011-2012.
Finally, the author informs about the political controversy. Officially, China does not interfere with the African partners’ domestic politics. However, this approach effectively shores up the rule of several authoritarian rulers in Angola, Sudan, and Zimbabwe (Smith, 2015). Simultaneously, China took considerable mediation efforts in Sudan. Some experts believe they do it for their own benefit in terms of crude production. The author concludes with the foreign minister’s words that China only intends to provide appropriate power in the region.
Smith, D. (2015). China denies building empire in Africa. The Guardian. Web.