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China-Africa Relations: Past, Present and Future


China-Africa Relations: Past, Present and Future Dr. HE Wenping Professor, Director of African Studies Section Institute of West Asian & African Studies, – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: China-Africa Relations: Past, Present and Future

China-Africa Relations Past, Present and Future
  • Dr. HE Wenping
  • Professor, Director of African Studies Section
    Institute of West Asian African Studies,
    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

  • 1. Historical Heritage and Three Development
  • 2. Current Economic Cooperation
  • 3. FOCAC and Its Impact
  • 4. Opportunities, Trends and Challenges Ahead

  • 1. China-African relations Historical Heritage
  • and Three Development Periods
  • Long history can trace back to Han Dynasty
    2 BC, then Tang Dynasty. Wan Dayuan(???) in Yuan
    Dynasty travelled to 12 countries in North and
    East Africa and Ibn Battuta (?????)(1304-1377)fr
    om Morocco also travelled to China for two years.
  • Zheng He (1371-1435) Great navigator in
    Ming Dynasty. Led a fleet of ships (the most
    advanced one at that time) and visited more than
    30 countries in South
  • East Asia and the countries along Indian Ocean
    for 7 times since 1405. He visited East Africa
    (eg. Kenya and Tanzania) 4 times as well.
  • Peace and good will visit (no slave taken, no
    land occupied)

  • Ming Dynasty
  • Great Navigator
  • Zheng He(1371-1435)

First period (from the 1950s to the end of the
1970s) rich ideology and reinforcementof
political benefits
  • Background
  • Diplomatic isolation
  • Three worlds divided theory
  • Manifestation
  • China support the African countries just
    struggle for national independence and against
    imperialism and colonialism
  • China has actively helped the African countries
    develop their economies and consolidate
    independence (such as TaZara Railway)
  • African countries supported Chinas
    reunification cause and resumption of Chinas
    legitimate seat at the United Nations

Chairman Mao with Friends
from Asia, Latin America and Africa in 1959
The biggest Chinese aid project to Africa, the
Tan-Zam Railway, began to be built in mid 1960s
and completed in 1975
(No Transcript)
Second period (whole decade of 1980s) weakening
ideology and valuing economic benefits
  • Background
  • the changes of Chinas domestic situation focus
    on modernization and economic development
  • the changes of Chinas diplomatic strategy from
    ideological idealism to pragmatic realism, from
    the unconditional internationalism to the
    priority of the national interest

  • Manifestation
  • Sino-African economic and trade relations have
    developed from the singular pattern of official
    aid between governments in the past into a
    mutually beneficial cooperation of diversified

  • Third period (after the end of the cold war up to
    now) attaching importance to both political and
    economic benefits and developing bilateral
    relations in an all-round way
  • Politically, China has always regarded Africa as
    its most reliable ally in the international
    stage. (voting power and strategic support for
    Chinas peaceful rising. frequent high level
    visits, former President Hu had visited Africa 6
    times, President Xi just visited Africa in March)
  • Economically, to develop Sino-African relations
    is the requirement for Chinas economy to carry
    out sustainable development. (resources, market,

2. Current Economic Cooperation
  • Trade improved rapidly. China is now the biggest
    trade partner of Africa, surpass US since 2009
  • trade volume has been increased from
    10billion in 2000 up to 126.9 billion (2010),
    160 billion (2011) , over 200 billion (2012),
    30-35 annual growth rate in 10 years.
  • strong complementary with each other
    Chinese manufacture products meet African demand
    and Africas resources meet Chinas huge demand
    for economic sustainable growth
  • trade partners are quite concentrated among
    a few countries SA, Angola, Sudan, Egypt,
    Nigeria, Algeria, Congo(B)

Chinas trade with Africa in total (billion)
  • New trend Trade structure has been gradually
  • The share of high tech. products is increasing,
    account for more than half of Chinas export to
    Africa now, such as home appliances, mobile
    phones, autos, aircrafts, even satellites, etc.
  • More African products are also seen in Chinese
    market and be fond by Chinese consumers, such as
    marble from Egypt, coffee from Cote dIvoire and
    Uganda, auto parts from South Africa, electronic
    products from Tunisia, tobacco from Zimbabwe,
    peanut oil from Senegal, cotton from Mali and
    cassava from Nigeria.
  • However, resources products are still taking
    the lead in the trade at the moment. Africa is
    now the second largest crude oil resources to

  • Investment
  • started from 1980, fast developed since 2001
  • Signed mutual investment protect agreements with
    28 African countries, and refrain from dual
    taxes-levy treaties with 8 African countries
  • grow from 50 million 2001 to nearly 1 billion
    annually in recent years (15 bn in total),
    Africa is now China's second largest overseas
    labor and project contracting market and fourth
    largest destination for outward investment.
  • 2000 Chinese enterprises based in Africa
  • Investments focus on agriculture, manufacture,
    communication, and mainly infrastracture areas
    such as irrigation, road/bridge, railway
    construction, hydropower station, etc.
  • Sudan, Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia
    are the main investment destination countries.

  • labour-contracted projects
  • largely developed since 1979, accounting for
    39.44 billion by the end of 2008, 10 times that
    of 2000, and accounted for 31 of whole
    labour-contrated projects in the whole world.
    Africa is becoming the second largest market for
    China in this regard (1 to 2 million Chinese
  • So far, Chinese companies have contracted in
    building more than 6000 km roads, 3400 km
    railways, and 8 hydropower stations.

  • 3. FOCAC and Its Impact
  • (FOCAC Forum of China-Africa Cooperation)
  • Background and significance of the Forum
  • Proposed by some African countries and echoed by
    Chinese government
  • The needs of strengthening consultation and
    cooperation in the new situation
  • A new platform and a mechanism for regular
    bilateral exchanges and closer Sino-African
  • The first of its kind in the history of
    Sino-African relations and in the 50 years of the
    Peoples Republic of Chinas diplomacy history

  • The first Forum Beijing 2000 Ministerial
  • Two documents issued the Beijing Declaration and
    the Programme of Cooperation on Economic and
    Social Development
  • RMB 10 billion debts write-off to African
    countries within the set period of 2 years set
    up special foundations for encouraging Chinese
    enterprises to invest in Africa, and for helping
    training all kinds of African professional
  • Mechanism design once every 3 years, rotation
    taking in China and Africa, avoid empty talk,
    detail measures in Action Plan based on mutual
    discussion, mainly demand-driven

  • The second Forum Addis Ababa 2003 Ministerial
  • Addis Ababa Action Plan (2004-2006) had been
  • Major concrete measures including
  • 1) increase the aids to Africa
  • 2) further open Chinese market to African
    products and grant duty-free for some commodities
    produced by the least developed African
  • 3) Increase 33 input for the African Human
    Resources Development Fund and training nearly 10
    thousand African talent in the next 3 years
  • 4) Add 8 new African countries in the list of
    travel destination for Chinese tourists, etc.

  • The Third Forum Beijing 2006 Summit
  • Eight measures have been announced
  • Double assistance by 2009
  • Provide loans and credits totaling US 5
  • Set-up a Development Fund which will reach US
  • 5 billion to encourage Chinese Companies
  • Build a conference centre for the AU (hand over
    in early 2012)
  • Debt Cancel
  • Further Open up Chinas Market to African
    commodities (from previous 190 to 440 items)
  • Establish 3-5 Trade Economic Cooperation
    Zones( Nigeria-Guang Dong Cooperation
    Zone(China-Zambia Cooperation Zone,Raiki Free
    Trade Zone in Nigeria,Suez Cooperation Zone in
    Egypt,Oriental Industrial Park in
    Ethiopia,Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in
  • Train 15,ooo African Professionals, build 100
    rural schools, dispatch 100 agriculture experts
    and 300 youth volunteers, build 30 hospitals and
    30 malaria treatment centres, increase
    scholarships for African students from 2000 to
    4000 per year,etc

The 2006 FOCAC Summit Opening Ceremony
  • The Fourth Forum 2009 SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt
    Ministerial Conference
  • New Eight measures have been announced
  • Establish a China-Africa partnership in
    addressing climate change, to build 100 clean
    energy projects for Africa covering solar power,
    bio-gas and small hydro-power .
  • Enhance cooperation with Africa in science and
    technology, will carry out 100 joint
    demonstration projects with Africa on scientific
    and technological research and receive 100
    African postdoctoral fellows to conduct
    scientific research in China
  • Help Africa build up financing capacity. China
    would provide 10 billion U.S. dollars in
    concessional loans to African countries, and
    setting up a special loan of 1 billion dollars
    for small- and medium-sized African businesses,
    cancel African countries debts due to mature by
    the end of 2009

  • Further open up Chinas market to African
    products. phase in zero-tariff treatment to 95
    percent of the products from the least developed
    African countries, starting with 60 percent of
    the products within 2010.
  • Enhance cooperation with Africa in agriculture.
    increase the number of agricultural technology
    demonstration centers in Africa to 20, send 50
    agricultural technology teams to Africa and train
    2,000 African agricultural technology personnel.
  • Deepen cooperation in medical care and health.
    provide medical equipment and anti-malaria
    materials worth RMB 500 million ( 73.2 million)
    to the 30 hospitals and 30 malaria prevention and
    treatment centers built by China and train 3,000
    doctors and nurses for Africa.

  • Enhance cooperation in human resources
    development and education. China would build 50
    schools and train 1,500 school principals and
    teachers for African countries. By 2012, China
    would increase the number of Chinese government
    scholarships to Africa to 5,500, and would also
    train 20,000 professionals for Africa over the
    next three years.
  • Expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
    China proposes to launch a China-Africa joint
    research and exchange program to increase
    exchanges and cooperation, share development
    experience, and provide intellectual support for
    formulating better cooperation policies by the
    two sides

  • The Fifth Forum 2012 Beijing Ministerial
    Conference in July
  • Five priority areas announced by then Chinese
    President Hu Jintao at the opening meeting
  • the financing ( 20 billion credit loans)
  • development assistance (highly related with
    peoples livelihood, human resources training)
  • Africans integration (transnational
    infrastructure projects)
  • people to people relations (NGOs
  • peace and security (train African
    peace-keeper, support African stand-by forces,

  • The Impact of FOCAC
  • Bilaterally, an New Impulse for Promoting
    Sino-African Relations
  • (mechanism for collective dialogue, Africa is
    high in Chinas foreign agenda, e.g. White paper
    on Chinas Africa Policy issued in early 2006)
  • Internationally, the appearance of Africa
    fever , Africa is now back to the centre of
    world stage (Korea-Africa Summit , EU-Africa
    Summit , India-Africa Summit, Turkey-Africa
    Summit, etc).
  • In Africa, heated debate about forming African
    strategy towards China builds on, ownership
    building process

4. Future Opportunities, Trends Challenges
  • Opportunities and Trends
  • Developed countries are still struggling with
    economic and debt crisis (stagnation has replaced
    growth) , their investment and aid in Africa is
  • South-South cooperation is getting new momentum
    (from BRIC to BRICS, shared development between
    emerging economies and Africa). By SA Standard
    Bank Report (2013/2), BRICS-Africa trade has
    grown faster than its trade with any other
    region. Its total trade with Africa reached 340
    billion in 2012, tenfold increase over the
    decade. BRICS-Africa trade will surpass 500
    billion by 2015, roughly 60 will be China-Africa

  • Africas Rising (the last frontier better off in
    governance and stability, economic growth, middle
    class expanding..)
  • Looking East strategy in Africa (Ethiopia?South
    Africa?Rwanda, etc.)
  • Chinas Africa Policy moving forward with the
    time (many new focuses NGO contact and soft
    power building, etc.)
  • As China shifts from exporter to investor,
    Chinas presence in Africa will refocus from
    trade to investment

Challenges Ahead
  • In general, need to address several changes
  • from quantity expansion to quality priority
  • from hardware to software mutual
    understanding, research capacity buliding
  • from trade to investment
  • tech. transfer and local employment
  • from bilateral to multilateral African
    regional integration (AU now is member of FOCAC)
  • from government-government to people-people

  • Challenges in economic cooperation
  • Localization and Corporate Social
    Responsibility (CSR) issue employment of local
    labor and communicate with each other (language
  • 2) technical transfer from give fish to teach
    fishing (training centre)
  • 3) maintain and sustainable development of the
    infrastructure projects
  • (handover or joint-management)

  • Challenges in people-people exchanges
  • (esp. NGO exchanges)
  • Strong demand
  • Bilateral relations are not only determined by
    State, government, military, Party and elite,
    NGOs are rising
  • NGOs can help to clear up or build up those
    misunderstandings between China and Africa
    (neo-colonialism, resources-plunder, African
    discrimination, etc)

  • Situation changes both in Africa and China
  • In Africa NGOs develop quickly and play an
    increasing important role in the society
    (post-Cold War democracy development, civil
    society, media)
  • In China Government has begun to attach
    importance to NGOs as well. (the number of NGOs
    is growing dramatically, the areas NGOs have
    involved in is expanding greatly as well)

  • Some differences
  • In Africa NGOs develops much earlier, have
    joined political movement (anti-apartheid and
    anti-authoritarian regime) for long time and also
    involved in international affairs.
  • In China NGOs are still in early development
    stage, more works have still been engaged in
    social (such as environmental protection) and
    economic fields. Few activities are related with
    international issues.

  • China now is catching up
  • Institutional building
  • Chinese NGO Network for International Exchanges
    was established in 2005. (sponsored for writing a
    book titled The African NGOs and Sino-African
    Relations and hosted a conference in late 2009)
  • International Poverty Reduction Center in China
    (IPRCC) was established in late 2004. (DAC-China
    study group anti-poverty experience sharing and
    several workshops, publications,)
  • China-Africa Business Council established in
    2005, promoting Chinese private companies
    investing in Africa

  • more activities
  • Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship
    with Foreign Countries long history,established
    in 1954 (mutual visiting and training)
  • Chinese Peoples Association for Peace and
    Disarmament (CPAPD),established in 1985 (held a
    conference titled China-Africa Civil Society
    Forum on Peace and Development in early June
    2010 in Beijing)
  • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is in action
    as well. (Chinese Africanists delegation visited
    Africa, Chinese-African Civil Society Dialogue
    held in Kenya in 2008)
  • Youth volunteers dispatching about 300

  • Finally, Challenges in Security risk (killing
    and kidnapping)
  • Only in 2012, several cases happening
  • In Sudan 29 Chinese workers kidnapped, one
  • Egypt Sinai Peninsula and Cairo
  • Republic of Congo (munitions depot blast 6
    died, 31 wounded)
  • Before, in Ethiopia, 2007, rebel attack in the
    evening, 9 killed, 7 kidnapped
  • South Africa criminal rate high, 1 killed on
    10th March,2012
  • Key how to balancenon-interference policy and
    play active role in security issue?

  • Thank you for your attention!!!
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