Our Friend or Foe? Exploring Common Grounds for China-Africa Relations

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China International Studies


China’s presence in Africa has a long history of cordial interaction spanning from ancient to contemporary times. The history of China-Africa relations is held in high esteem by the two sides, as both share a history of foreign invasions and of solidarity for a common destiny. However, new narratives promoted by antagonists of China’s presence in Africa are constructed to portray China in a negative light without recourse to history. Arguably, the Chinese exploration of Africa can be said to have started many centuries before the arrival of Europeans on the continent. To challenge and counter the Eurocentric narratives, China has consistently provided historical and empirical facts, which prove that its interest in Africa is mutually beneficial and hinged on friendly relations. This research examines China’s role in Africa, and whether it may be construed as that of a friend or a foe. It explores several arguments about China’s motive for its involvement in Africa and the underlying ontological realities. It further synthesizes Africa’s strategic development interest as well as the prospects and challenges therein. It also delves into a comparative study of the historical relationship between Africa and the West on one side, and China and Africa on the other. The integration and critical analysis of several relevant scholarly contributions create the nexus between various studies on China’s role in Africa and on the consequent impact on Africa.



China-Africa Relations, Afrrica Development, Mutual Engagement, Emerging Issues


Emmanuel Zwanbin (2020). Our Friend or Foe? Exploring Common Grounds for China-Africa Relations. China International Studies, pp124-129