Interdependence in China-Africa Aid Relations.
Abstract: China’s intervention in general and the aid involvement in Africa in particular have provoked contentious debates. This study with the help of interdependence theory attempted to examine the nature of China–Africa aid relations and demonstrate the overall impact of the Chinese aid relation on Africa as well as the traditional Western influence. Employing a single-holistic case study qualitative approach, it attempts to provide a theoretical understanding of the aid relations and make sense of Africa’s position within this relationship and beyond. Accordingly, the empirical data that are used in this study show that the nature of the China-Africa aid relations is driven by their respective interest greatly facilitated by the quick and politically untied Chinese aid in exchange of Africa’s abundant resources and access to market. Here, China’s divergent approach to aid and its economic engagement in Africa presents an alternative to the Western donors and Western financial institutions, and this is seriously challenging the traditional Western hegemony while giving leverage to Africa. The situation has intensified competition between China and Western powers placing Africa at the center of emerging geopolitical tensions. Furthermore, this study confirms that the convergent of Chinese aid with its commercial interest has negatively impacted the infant industries and labor market in some African countries; however, the enormous economic opportunities created by Chinese aid far outweigh the threats. Despite the imbalance in the benefits and the challenges posed, interdependency between China and Africa is mutually reinforced. Thus, this study concludes that the fundamental imperatives for the interdependence of China and Africa are the growing domestic needs in both sides and their long term strategic interest.
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