Friends and interests: China's distinctive links with Africa

Barry Sautman, Yan Hairong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


China's expanded links to Africa have created a discourse of how to characterize those ties, Western political forces and media have criticized every aspect of China's activities in Africa, while Chinese, with significant support from Africans, have mounted a spirited defense. This article examines several factors that make China's links with Africa distinctive, including China's aid and migration policies, the distinctive "Chinese model" of foreign investment and infrastructure loans, and the development model known as the "Beijing Consensus." It argues that particular aspects of China's links with Africa make the People's Republic of China (PRC) seem a lesser evil than the West in terms of support for Africa's development and respect for African nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-114
Number of pages40
JournalAfrican Studies Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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