CHINA AND AFRICA RELATIONSHIP - IS IT GOOD FOR AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT?
China is a large incessantly developing country that is emerging as a giant player in almost all major spheres. Quite recently, one can observe a lot of Chinese interest in the African continent. While formal relations started in the 1950s, trade and cooperation between the two countries dates back to over ten decades.
With a plethora of aid projects and spurring infrastructure developments initiated by China in various African countries, one wonders if there is something good to actually come out for Africa or not? Is it sheer goodwill or just a convenient means of acquiring resources to strengthen the Chinese economy?
Africa has a menacing history of outside powers trying to inculcate and exploit the continent. There is a majority that believes that China is simply taking up the role of a new imperial power that will pretend to be Africa’s savior, but will use Africa to its own advantage without any potential resistance.
So far, China’s behavior and concern refutes all such allegations as till date, China has not once made any outrageous demands to grant it military bases or imperial preferences. Chinese leaders have stressed the principal of ‘mutual noninterference in domestic affairs’ which definitely sounds attractive.
Moreover, China has effectively introduced aid projects and developments in more than forty five African countries and the financial aid they have ensured have surpassed even that of Japan and Britain. All the development we see today in underdeveloped Africa has been made possible only through China’s assistance.
Chinese leaders have found it worth mentioning that their interest in Africa in the name of exploration, aid projects and infrastructure development is no charity. All the enhancements are based on ‘mutual benefit’. But some critics still believe that as far as this frankness is concerned, there is more to it than meets the eye.
By far, China is interacting very positively with the African government and is handling the natives effortlessly. When South Africa criticized the overflow of Chinese textiles, they were at once restrained. When workers disagreed with the Chinese mine owners, the Chinese government openly criticized their behavior.
Despite of all these efforts, critics fear for Africa’s future once China’s motives are fulfilled. Will China drop Africa just like a useless accessory the way it did a few decades back? Or will it continue to support the continent in its war against rocky economical conditions? Only time will tell. The question is why critics are not as wary of the west as they are of the china, considering the exploiting ruthless customs/ways of the west- a fair question.