Enter the Dragon

Discussion in 'China' started by Rage, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    As my first real contribution to this forum, I've decided to post a thesis I wrote on the nature of the Sino-African engagement in the continent. Mainstream political literature on the subject emanating from the West largely decries and condemns Chinese involvement as being a form of "neo-Colonialism". This thesis argues an unconventional - and somewhat controversial - viewpoint, in that it defends Chinese involvement in the subcontinent as being less exploitative, volatile and more beneficial than that of Africa's colonial counterparts....despite it being avaricious and essentially self-seeking.


    The latter section of the essay will seek to analyze the relationship in the context of two competing theories of political science: Radical and Dependency theory. I entertain criticism and comments not just on the essay, but on the subject at hand as well. What do you think of the nature of Sino-African engagement? What do you think of the prospects for democratization of the continent ridden with dictatorships and repressive governments? Of the security implications for India and the West? Of the race between the Tiger and the Dragon to secure oil and mineral resources in the continent? Questions that require answering if we are able to formulate a strategic approach to dealing with the opportunities and threats that ensue from this engagement.
     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Enter the Dragon: Analyzing the Nature of the Sino-African Engagement in Africa



    China's relationship with Africa dates back to antiquity. Never before has this relationship been of such significance however as it is today. With asseverations abounding of China's colonial-style resource exploitation, gross human rights negligence and obstructive agency apropos of African economic development and political stability, China's relationship with Africa is indeed of paramount importance to analysts and policy makers alike. This paper aims to dissect fact from fiction with regards to China's emerging role in Africa. It argues that China's involvement in Africa, while certainly avaricious and self -seeking, is not nearly as exploitative as that of its former colonial counterparts. Moreover, the nature of Chinese aid and investment provides many African nations much needed respite from the inexorable aid policies of western governments, and under certain conditions may even ameliorate development. The first half of the paper will analyze the relationship in the context of several global structural, normative and mediating instrumental variables. In particular, these parameters will be global commodity markets and prices (principally resources), the international financial aid system, socio-economic development, political stability and good governance, environmental degradation, and human rights- issues that are at the forefront of the debate on China's role in Africa. The latter half of the paper discusses the relative applicability of the Liberal and Radical schools of thought in explaining the issue at hand and an assessment of which is more pertinent.


    On Resource and Commodity Markets and Prices

    China's engagement with Africa is driven primarily by its compelling need to acquire energy and mineral resources for its domestic development strategy. The September 11 attacks and the subsequent political upheaval throughout the Middle East have only served to exacerbate this need (Pan). Yet it is precisely because of China's voracious appetite for energy and resources that African nations have gained considerably in recent years. Consider the sustained rise in world crude prices since 2002. Not only has this phenomenon shifted bargaining power away from international oil companies (IOC's) towards oil-producing African countries, but it has also led to a substantial improvement in their net terms of trade (Downs 52). Needless to say, the improvement in their relative trade positions enables them to more effectively challenge traditional relationships and partnerships with the West that have imposed severe structural constraints on their ability to eradicate poverty and transcend economic marginalization. Indeed, "increased Chinese demand for raw materials has seen an upsurge in commodity prices, putting extra cash in the coffers of many resource-dependent economies" (Rocha 24). Thus, recent African economic growth can be attributed, in part, to surging Chinese demand that has not only led to a trend increase in primary commodity prices, but also depressed Africa's import prices. This "serves as a catalyst for local industrial development, as in the case of the West African cotton growers who have benefited from increased exports to China" (Maswana 9). Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that "the oil drilling and exploration rights China has obtained in Africa have been acquired through international bidding mechanisms in accordance with international market practices", negating any plausibility of resource-based exploitation (Anshan 83-84).


    Moreover, unlike the West, China does not perceive Africa merely as "a source of raw material". Instead, Chinese firms are actively involved in creating and expanding African markets for their own products. The benefits of this accrue to African consumers as well, not least in the form of cheaper commodity prices (Janneh). The availability of "Chinese motorcycles, air conditioners, T-shirts, and kitchen utensils" at affordable prices have led to a tangible improvement in African living standards. As well, recent indications suggest that this is not merely an arbitrary, one-sided relationship. This aspect of mutual benefit is demonstrated in China's pledge "to increase from 190 to over 440 the number of export items to China receiving zero-tariff treatment from the least developed countries in Africa with diplomatic ties to China" (Maswana 7). This is also evidenced by China's willingness to compromise, an example of which can be found in China's unilateral imposition of quotas on its own textile exports in order to allow South-African producers time to make their products more competitive (Anshan 82). And in an encouraging development for African resource industries, "China and South Africa recently concluded a deal to establish a joint company to expand ferrochrome production with the clear intention of making money rather than supplying metal to China" (Maswana 11). In contrast, it is no secret that African nations have historically been subject to devious artifices at the hands of their imperialist masters - not least of which are mispricing and transfer pricing - that have robbed them of billions of dollars even by the most conservative estimates (Rocha 27).There is now a dawning realization among African elites that Chinese investment represents a viable and competent alternative to western capital, underscored by the fact that "resource nationalism" has become less virulent on the continent (Downs 45). Chinese efforts at expanding and balancing bilateral trade, fostering equitable partnership ventures and optimizing trade structures with its African allies are at the very polar opposite of the exploitative trade relationship its colonial counterparts shared with the latter.
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Part II​

    On the International Financial Aid System

    China's pleonectic aid policies have been the subject of much recent debate. Numerous allegations abound about the use of Chinese aid as a means of securing investment and trade deals with no concern for corruption, human rights or the environment. However, in employing comprehensive 'aid packages' to obtain strategic investments, China has not deviated significantly from "a very traditional path established by Europe, Japan, and the United States" (Pan). Indeed, arms deals, contract loans and debt cancellation were the very tools used by western countries to court African states post independence. That said, China's aid policy differs from those of its western counterparts in one crucial way, in that it does not impose conditions of structural adjustment on its beneficiaries. This, in fact, is the foremost cause of concern for many western nations who contend that such a "no strings attached" policy would exacerbate corruption and undermine local efforts to increase transparency and good governance (Rocha 29, Janneh). Yet, statistical studies have to date failed to establish the alleged correlation. In fact Chinese aid has ostensibly provided considerable benefits in the form of crucial infrastructure, that in turn "assist African countries in securing other loans and investment opportunities" by lowering transaction costs (Anshan 78, Rocha 24) . These benefits, which include roads, schools, hospitals, bridges and dams are tangible and promote a range of development concerns from agriculture, water, health and education to the environment, thus expediting the process of African development (Pan).


    China's economic assistance to Africa has grown by "geometric proportions so that by the end of 2006 China will surpass Japan and US in economic assistance to Africa" (Rocha 23). To date China has cancelled $10 billion of debt owed by African states and has even offered further debt relief to 31 African countries (Pan, Obiorah 31) . There is however criticism of Chinese aid being employed only to "build goodwill for later investment opportunities or stockpile international support for contentious political issues" (Pan). While it is certainly true that, like aid from nearly every other donor government, Chinese aid is provided partly to insure certain diplomatic and strategic interests- for example, the diplomatic non-recognition of Taiwan, these claims ignore an even more important truth- namely that in many cases such aid is courted by African governments themselves (Maswana 9) . This was incontrovertibly demonstrated in Nigeria, where " Ed*mund Daokoru, minister of state for petroleum indicated that right of first refusal on oil blocks will be awarded to those companies whose governments can offer attractive economic packages" (Downs 55). China attuned its economic assistance to Africa by attempting to help Africa help itself. Its economic assistance includes other forms of support such as preferential and discounted loans, cooperatives and joint ventures for projects in Africa. Cooperatives and joint ventures helped to bring new technology and management practices to projects in Africa, while preferential loans pressed African nations to use money more effectively (Anshan 74). As well, China's offer of aid in the absence of political or humanitarian conditionalities is apparently much appreciated by African politicians "who are physically and intellectually exhausted by two decades of economic ‘reform' supposedly adopted by African government but driven by Western governments, donors and the IFIs" (Obiorah 38, 39). This statement underscores an important fact, namely that African states have been only reluctant partners in the so called Structural Adjustment Programs that envision 'political liberalization', 'economic recovery' and 'environmental protection' at the cost of 'wasteful and unnecessary' social programs that in reality are far more important. For them, "China represents the hope that another world is possible in which bread comes before the freedom to vote" (Obiorah 38, 48).


    On socio-economic development

    It is not merely resource harvesting that China participates in in Africa. "The range of activities that [Chinese] companies are engaged in varies from trade, processing, manufacture, communication, transportation, roads and agriculture, to resources development" (Rocha 24). For African countries traditionally bound by trade with the now recession-ridden economies of Europe, this represents an opportunity for African nations to 'diversify their strategic options' (Janneh, Maswana 8). Not only does this provide much needed impetus to African industry, but it induces positive spin-offs that assist in addressing "social calamities such as poor health services, energy crisis, skills development, etc" (Rocha 24). China's multifarious investment is epitomized in recent manifestations of its capital expenditure that could better be described as "package deals". The " US$500 million export credit from the Eximbank of China to Nigeria, for infrastructure development, as well as a Chinese grant for anti-malaria drugs, to help train Nigerians to control malaria and bird flu" is a prime example of this (Obiorah 37). As well, " technical assistance and cooperation in science and technology with Africa...is now a rapidly expanding part of Sino-African relations", an example of which is the recent collaboration to launch a Nigerian satellite expected to offer telecommunications, broadcasting, and broadband multimedia services for Africa throughout the next 15 years (Anshan 79, Maswana 12). And as in the case of aid, this kind of investment is appreciated, even invited by African states. Nowhere is this more evidenced in that " some African oil producers, lacking critical infrastructure and eager to diversify their economies away from oil, have sought to capitalize on their newfound positions of strength by offering preferential access to companies willing to link investments in oil exploration and production to investments in other economic sectors of the host country" (Downs 52). All this has had visible results, with the continent registering economic growth of 5.2 percent in 2005, the highest level ever achieved, completely confounding critics who postulate the exploitative nature of china's investment in Africa (Pan).


    Of course China's interests in Africa are motivated by a more classical pursuit of economic self-interest rather than any perceivable philanthropic altruism. Arguably, "economics is the main driver of this phenomenon and that China's need for energy and raw materials is to a large extent fuelling this booming trade and investment" (Janneh). Yet, the (perhaps?) unintended consequence of this is that Africa has benefited much in terms of socio-economic development and has come closer to achieving its Millennium Goals. What's more, by giving African states greater economic leverage in negotiating trade and investment, China has effectively lowered the probability of their being the victim of exploitative trade deals. There is also disquiet about China's preference for its own labor over African labor (Maswana 11). But these ignore China's own legitimate concerns about possible legal hassles and local labor productivity- issues that are at the forefront of employment decisions by western MNC's. Moreover, as "Chinese business continue to expand in Africa, they will shift towards greater localization of their practices. This change has the potential to eventually lower production costs and build a virtuous cycle of increased investment by Chinese companies and benefits to the local community" (Anshan 82). An even more important consequence is that China's rise as a global economic power presents (a once inconceivable) alternative path to economic development for African countries- one that emphasizes "good governance, public-private sector partnership and a genuine home-driven policy agenda as opposed to branded neo-liberal IMF/World Bank policies contained in the notorious Washington Consensus. It has given African leaders new enthusiasm for the viability of a state-led gradualist reform agenda without sacrificing social protection for the mass of potential losers (Obiorah 41).
     
  5. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Part III​


    On Political Stability and Good Governance (This section will include a discussion on the prospects for democratization in Africa)

    China's close links with authoritarian, undemocratic governments in Africa have in recent years drawn severe flak from western media and governments alike. It is widely claimed that "China's non-adherence to the West's approach of imposing conditionalities has the potential to nullify all the progress made in fighting corruption and improving governance in Africa" (Rocha 26). This near myopic focus on China as the cardinal factor behind the rampant state expropriation and inept governance that has plagued the continent betrays a negligence of the fact that western governments and multinationals, particularly those with a considerable stake in the extractives industry, have also been historically responsible. Moreover, this accusation has been made all the more fallacious by the fact that Chinese investment, loans, and financial assistance represent only a miniscule proportion of the total revenues accruing to African governments from soaring oil prices. Their aversion to disclosing the size and sources of this revenue (both chinese and others), and not Sino-African relations, is what has prevented countries like Angola from signing financial agreements envisaging greater transparency with the IMF and other international financial institutions (Downs 56).


    The claim that "the status quo [of political unrest] benefits [Chinese companies like] CNPC by providing a level of political risk that is high enough to deter the IOCs and other oil companies from competing with CNPC for assets in Sudan, yet low enough not to seriously jeopar*dize CNPC's operations" is also highly contentious (Downs 61). This is because local militant groups opposed to the operation of foreign firms in resource rich African countries are more ideologically than politically motivated and hence do not distinguish between Chinese MNC's and other IOC's, implying equal risk for both (Obiorah 51). Moreover, by committing itself to the prevention of illegal production, circulation and trafficking of small arms in Africa, Beijing has reiterated its commitment to eliminating the enabling factors for political instability in Africa (Obiorah 52, Holslag 9). And although China is sending profit-seeking firms to Africa, there is no evidence that China is trying to set up clientelist clubs like the infamous 'French Francafrique network (Maswana 13)'.


    As well, while the Chinese model of state-led development is certainly more appealing to Africa's more repressive regimes because it represents a refutation of the view that democracy is an essential precondition for development, it is also conceivable that political developments within China itself may engender greater democracy in Africa. For example, "the realization that the burgeoning Chinese middle classes will not accept indefinitely the prosperity- for-acquiescence offered by the Communist Party and that China will, in the long term, evolve towards a representative form of government" may also encourage its African partners to embark upon the democratization process (Obiorah 46). Furthermore, unlike the west which has wontedly supported African dictatorships when convenient, China by 2002, had established relations with more than "60 political parties in 40 Sub-Saharan countries, which included both ruling and non-ruling parties", convincing Africans of China's sincerity in respecting their political choices (Anshan 73).


    On the Environment

    A May 2000 arrangement, in which China reportedly "swapped a shipment of small arms for eight tons of Zimbabwean elephant ivory", has raised concerns about China's apparent callousness towards the African environment (Pan). But suspicions about the genuineness of such concerns surface when the origin of such scruples is considered. Broad based civic environmental concern is a relatively new phenomenon and has emerged principally because "environmental advocacy groups in Western countries routinely pressure their governments to demand environmental audits and impact assessments before funding new infrastructure and industrial projects" (Obiorah 42). Admittedly, Chinese firms operating abroad are not subject to the same "reputational risks" that western companies are exposed to in the form of 'naming and shaming' by environmental lobbies in their countries of origin (Obiorah 49). But while certainly admirable, environmental concerns are primarily a feature of western civic and political activity and it is unfair to presume the same standards from a developing country like China.


    That being said, China has still endeavored to comply with western environmental norms whenever feasible. Evidence of this can be found in several legislative measures introduced in the recent past. One such initiative was the enactment of "a new national ivory registration system requiring ivory dealers and carvers to be registered...intended to comply with a CITES resolution on domestic controls, to ensure that legalized ivory and imported ivory will not be re-exported and meets all requirements concerning domestic manufacturing and trade" (Holslag 11 ). As well, "in 2006, a National Initiative Process was launched to help realize a mutual recognition between China's national and international forest certification standards and to promote the so-called Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) norms for sustainable timber trade" (Holslag 10). Participants in this latter included personnel from government departments, universities, think tanks and NGOs and indicate that "China's authorities were willing to take different proposals into consideration and that officials where committed to find ways to monitor and curb foreign supplies of wood." Also, in 2006, China's State Council enacted regulations requiring government approval for all export and import of wildlife products for non-commercial purposes such as scientific research, breeding and exchanges. The fact that these initiatives were not merely nominal, but rather substantive and even successful is demonstrated by a 2007 field investigation by TRAFFIC, a credible wildlife monitoring network that "speaks of an ‘unprecedented effort to interdict illicit trade in ivory' and confirms that ‘China's law enforcement effort scores have improved markedly'" (Holslag 11). It is thus evident that despite being a developing country in its own right and having environmental problems of it own, China has made considerable efforts to ensure that the environmental impact of its economic engagement with Africa is minimized.
     
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Part IV​


    On Human Rights

    China's intimate trade and economic relationships with repressive military regimes in countries like Sudan and Zimbabwe have stoked fears about its disdain for human rights. China has been strongly censured by the international community for alleged transfers of military hardware and weapons despite international arms embargos (Pan). Yet, such obloquies disregard fundamental imperatives imposed by the domestic situations in these countries and constraints of the international diplomatic system. Firstly, China's active exploration of resources, in particular oil sources in Africa, has necessitated the provision of adequate security for its companies because of the intensely violent activities perpetrated by some local groups opposed to any foreign accretion of domestic resources (Pan, Obiorah 51). The militant activities of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) group are a case in point. China's response, like that of any other astute, self-interested government to the numerous abductions of its nationals and the destruction of its assets is to support the ruling faction against the others. Agreed, this is not an exemplary moral strategy, but western governments have themselves in the past made no secret of their willingness to support oppressive governments when their strategic interests are at stake (Pan). Secondly, "the limits and norms of the international system only allow China to deal with sovereign states through their governments, "placing severe restrictions on China's ability to intervene decisively, given the strategic importance of its geopolitical interests (Anshan 84).


    As well, China is committed to adhering to a strict policy of 'non-interference', based on the belief that human rights are not justifiable cause for one country to intervene in another country's internal affairs (Anshan 75). Such a doctrine espouses the relativity of human rights and advocates contextual definitions and differing time frames for their achievement (Pan). Certainly, this seems to be based on a more equitable and accommodating approach to human rights, one that is in stark contrast to the intractable nature of the western, universalistic concept of human rights. Indeed, China's approach emphasizes the collective right to development over the rights-based approaches focused on individual rights and argues that state sovereignty is paramount, not least because the human rights protection regime is a state-based mechanism" (Anshan 75). Moreover, China's own domestic problems with human rights put it in no position to dictate ethical terms to its African counterparts and so expectations of cogent state action on China's part are unwarranted (Anshan 84) .


    In the Sudanese context, "arguments that China's oil in*terests are prompting Beijing to turn a blind eye to the Darfur crisis are becoming slightly outdated" (Downs 58). Indeed, mounting criticism and the realization that it could not deter western governments from increasing pressure on Khartoum have prompted China to take a much more active stance in finding a solution to the crisis in Darfur, while still abiding by its strategic and doctrinal imperatives and international diplomatic norms (Downs 58). Measures include support for the deployment of a hybrid UN-Africa Union peacekeeping force in 2006 and use of economic linkages to exert pressure on the Sudanese junta (Maswana 6, Downs 61). Moreover, Chinese opposition to sanctions against the military regime is explained by its pragmatic view that the underlying cause of the crisis is poverty and that sanctions would only exacerbate the problem (Downs 61). In this regard, China has provided much needed assistance in the form of schools, hospitals and water projects to alleviate the root cause of the problem (Anshan 77). But the barrage of international criticism has made China wary of projecting itself as the principal patron of Africa's tyrants. "China's abstention on a Security Council vote on Darfur in early 2006 should be cause for some guarded optimism" for even those who are determined to equate China's foreign policy with violations of human rights (Obiorah 52).
     
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Part V​


    Liberal Theory in explaining Sino-African relations

    Liberal theory, advocating limited state jurisdiction and promulgating the intimate relation between individual freedoms and private property, fails to adequately explain the nature of China's role in Africa. This is so because China's own model of economic development and conduct of international relations, which in turn determine the constitution of its engagement with Africa, can best be characterized as "illiberal" (Barma and Ratner 61). This illiberal development model comprises two key elements: the first, internal element can best be described as "illiberal capitalism" and epitomizes China's very own path of economic development- namely that of a state-civil society compact through which the government provides a certain measure of economic growth in return for having its authority unchallenged. Freedom and civil liberties are forfeited for social order and wealth, and to the degree that the regime continues to deliver on its socio-economic promise, it is unlikely to moderate (Barma and Ratner 62). The second, external element of the model represents a rejection of the liberal hypothesis that the international community should have a say in the internal affairs of a state and advocates the preponderance of state sovereignty. It is characterized by a permissive foreign policy "predicated on principles of absolute sovereignty and non-intervention" (Barma and Ratner 64). The Chinese model thus severs the link between capitalist economic freedoms on the one hand and political liberties of democratic representation on the other, exhibiting a sharp contrast to the doctrine of liberal modernization theory.


    Because this strategy is "conveniently portable, emphasizing the nationalist and pragmatic nature of the development project rather than prescribing specific ideological rules for political and economic management", it has had profound influence in shaping the development paths of African countries in the wake of China's emergence as a key partner (Barma and Ratner 62). For instance, the extenuation of the advancement of Structural Adjustment Programs, as a consequence of China's unconditional trade, aid and investment policies, undermines the very mechanism through which the West has sought to advance liberal practices worldwide. "Unlike the United States and Europe, China does not subscribe to evolving international norms of multilateral intervention on the grounds of human rights and political freedoms, does not promote democracy overseas, does not demand open markets from its trading partners, and does not advocate selective violations of a nation's sovereignty" (Barma and Ratner 64). Instead China's foreign policy is predicated on comprehensive "packages" that include trade and investment, military assistance, highly visible aid projects, debt relief, technical expertise, and educational and cultural ex-changes, all backed by China's influence in international bodies like the U.N. Security Council. Moreover, in employing its diplomatic leverage, as in the case of Darfur, in dissuading international institutions like the UNHRC - institutions that are based, at least theoretically, on liberal principles - from political confrontation on human rights and other grounds, China's behavior is antithetical to that of the United States and other liberal democracies that espouse intervention in the protection of liberal entities (Barmer and Ratner). Lastly, there is evidence of the emergence of a new international structure, entrenched in the norms of illiberal capitalism and sovereignty, and in dialectic and ideological opposition to traditional models of liberal development. Multilateral associations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization suggest "an alternative international architecture "in which the United Nations, NATO, and the Bretton Woods institutions no longer set the principles that govern international politics" (Barma and Ratner 66).


    Radical Theory in explaining Sino-African relations

    In the context of a capitalistic framework, radical, in particular Dependency theories postulate that "economic domination runs across north-south geoeconomic patterns" (Maswana 2). Central to the dependency framework in the current global economic framework is the inability of the periphery to develop an autonomous process of technological innovation. While this dynamic does exist in current Sino-African relations, it is perhaps the only factor that points to relations of Dependence.


    China, in its relations with Africa, does not fit the theoretical category of either a core or a periphery nation (Maswana 2). As well, Dependency theory assumes that development and underdevelopment constitute two opposite poles of one and the same process; in other words, development of the 'core' capitalist countries presupposes and even necessitates underdevelopment of the 'peripheral' dependent countries. A seminal feature of radical Dependency theory is the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis which posits the "persistent deterioration in the net barter terms of trade between primary products and manufacturing" (Maswana 4). Contrastingly, "China‘s tremendous economic growth has been accompanied by an unprecedented improvement in Africa‘s "net barter terms of trade [to] 106.6 points as compared to the base year 1995" (Maswana 11). Moreover, even though Africa does supply China with relatively cheap minerals and serves as a repository for manufactures, because "China itself is a cheap-labor country, the expected supply of cheap labor and agriculture commodities commonly found in dependency relationships barely apply in this case" (Maswana 10). Another important feature of Dependency theory is the political and ideological control by the core of the periphery. A Dependency posture on Sino-African relations would previse the establishment of Chinese "military presence as a means of preserving potential risks of expropriation/nationalization and preventing any challenges" (Maswana 13). China's virtual military absence from the continent (barring international peacekeeping missions) is a rebuttal of this prognosis. As well, center-periphery relations of dependence are inconceivable without their financial mediums and channels (Maswana 13). There is no evidence however of Chinese attempts to influence the monetary policies of African nations it transacts with. Nor are African countries enmeshed in Chinese related debt burdens that would otherwise have provided the latter the opportunity to impose its own structural adjustment policies on Africa (Maswana 13). China's policy of non-interference also does not coincide with conventional mores of peripheral elite control adopted by core countries. Dependency theory posits that, more often than not, local elites, as intermediating agents between the capitalist class in the center and local workers in the periphery, collude with the former at the expense of the latter (Maswana 13). Yet, China "is dealing with the local elite not through forceful domination but through the consensus-based means of economic and diplomatic leadership" (Maswana 13).


    In sum therefore, the argument fails to support the idea that China-Africa relations can be explained by radical theories of Dependency. Rather, the case represents an anomalous instance of "inter-system dependency", one that is characterized by south-south dialectic and a differentiating technology gap. This is illustrated by the crucial shift of Africa "from its traditional raw material exports into a basic manufacturing integration in its relationship with China" (Maswana 14). The verdict hence is that neither the Liberal nor the Radical theory succeed in offering a sufficiently satisfactory explanation of the complex realities that characterize the Sino-African engagement.


    Conclusion

    To conclude, a relationship or consociation may be deemed exploitative if the actions or decisions of one party result in a relative deterioration in the position of the other. China's involvement in Africa, while admittedly not ideal, has thus far not exhibited the features of a dominant, exploitative partner. Certainly, it has not led to any further abasement of Africa's status from its already ignominious position following decades of colonial and neo-colonial plundering. If anything, it has led to a small, yet tangible improvement. Much of what appears in western media today is little short of "China-bashing" (Obiorah 39). Yet, by providing Africa with crucial newfound leverage (Janneh), China has in fact aided the economic, political and social development of Africa (albeit to a limited extent) and therefore its relationship with Africa cannot be judged exploitative.


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  8. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Cites


    Anshan, Li. "China and Africa: Policy and Challenges." China Security 3 (2007): 69-93. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://www.wsichina.org/cs7_4.pdf.>.


    Barma, Nazneen, and Ely Ratner. "China's Illiberal Challenge." Democracy: a Journal of Ideas 2 (2006): 56-68. 15 Jan. 2008 <http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/NewEra/pdfs/BarmaRatner_China2006.pdf>.


    Downs, Erica. "The Fact and Fiction of Sino-Africa Energy Relations." China Security 3 (2007): 42-68. 20 Jan. 2008 <http://www.wsichina.org/cs7_3.pdf>.


    Holslag, Jonathan. "Friendly Giant? China's Evolving Africa Policy." Asia Paper 5th ser. 2 (2007). 11 Jan. 2008 <http://www.vub.ac.be/biccs/document...//www.fahamu.org/downloads/cia_download.pdf>.
     

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