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In the book, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, Wasserstrom evaluates the developments in China starting from the Confucius period to the US-China relations in the recent past. The author focuses on the philosophies, political perspectives, and socioeconomic policies that have contributed to the growth of the country.
However, the author does not address the influx of Chinese investors in Africa. Although China has contributed to Africa’s economic growth, its noninterference policy affects governance and political maturity. Additionally, the country is using the poverty levels, unstable government policies, and corruption levels to enhance its neocolonialism agenda.
Wasserstrom should address three additional questions on whether China is contributing to Africa’s economic development, how its noninterference policy affects governance, and whether the country is pursuing neocolonialism agenda in Africa.
These questions are essential in exposing China’s repressive investments in the twenty-first century. They would demonstrate its selfish agenda and its attempt to revive neocolonialism in the underdeveloped regions by undermining the local laws, engaging in corruption, and sponsoring political conflicts.
China’s Agenda in Africa
China has emerged as one of the biggest investor in Africa with major energy and infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2007, the country launched the China-Africa development fund (CAD-Fund). According to Alessi and Xu, the country has been pursuing energy trade deals with Gabon and Sudan (par. 3).
Some of the largest Chinese firms have started constructing roads, mines, and oil exploration plants in the region. In fact, the trade between China and Africa is characterized by low-interest rates on development loans, low costs of production, and job creation. In Gabon, for example, China has taken over some of the country’s energy generating projects including oil exploration.
Additionally, it has contributed immensely to the expansion and improvement of infrastructure in the East African region. The other significant development initiatives in Africa include agricultural entrepreneurship and engagement with West Africa and large-scale agricultural investments in Mozambique and other South African regions.
The Chinese developments have increased the continent’s economic growth and food sustainability (Wasserstrom 141). Despite China’s contribution to Africa’s growth, the non-interference policy has affected the governance of most African states. China has been exercising its noninterference policy to appeal to numerous African leaders since 1996 (Alessi and Xu par. 8).
In fact, the country has emerged as a friendly, lenient, and non-authoritative partner among African leaders. Most of the African leaders have hailed China’s approach because, unlike the US and most European countries, it does not set funding or trade preconditions. The policy has led to China’s engagement with controversial regimes, for example, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
In Sudan’s case, China has been supplying Khartoum troops with arms to undermine the conflicts along Sudan’s oil belt. Additionally, it has failed to stabilize failed regimes through its noninterference policy. Whereas most of the western countries engage in diplomatic and politically preconditioned agreements before working with failed African states, China has been overlooking the social and political environments.
The policy framework has led to the deterioration of some African regimes. In fact, the non-interference policy has increased cases of corruption, poaching, illegal arms trade, immigration, and abuse of human rights. The implications of the policy are setting the foundation for neocolonialism.
China’s interests in the developing nations and its increasing demand for sustainable energy, economic stability, and influence in the United Nations shapes its foreign policy agenda. In fact, the country’s reducing per capita income is leading to the implementation of controversial foreign policies that exploit the resources of the developing countries without contributing to their positive governance.
The country is using the unstable African governments to undermine human rights and trade. For example, most of the Chinese companies underbid African companies from projects to control development. Additionally, they bring Chinese workers in Africa instead of adhering to the foreign investment policies that require the use of local workers.
Over one million Chinese workers have already moved to Africa as one of the country’s employment plan (Alessi and Xu par 3). Additionally, the Chinese companies use corruption to undermine the local labor laws and employment policies.
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For example, some Chinese mining companies in Zambia have banned union activities while others have engaged in oppressive and abusive activities with local workers. In other instances, the firms have also engaged in environmental degradations by dumping wastes contrary to local laws. China is exploiting the poverty in Africa to control the economy and politics of some developing countries.
China has contributed significantly to the infrastructure and economy of numerous African nations. However, the noninterference policy is encouraging trade with controversial regimes while undermining the UN policies and principles.
Additionally, its involvement in illegal arms sales and the presence of Chinese combat troops in unstable countries shows that the country is preparing to gain control and dominance in the region. China will soon be controlling policymaking and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The country is trying to eliminate the western influence in most of the developing countries by presenting low-interest rate loans and cheap development alternatives. However, these activities are increasing Africa’s dependence levels while undermining its social, political, and cultural frameworks.
Alessi, Christopher, and Beina Xu. China in Africa. 2015. Web. <https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa>
Wasserstrom, Jeffrey. China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.