Since the mid-1990s, China has made an all out effort to gain favor in Africa. It has had considerable success and in some countries Chinese influence now surpasses that of the United States. The second term of the Clinton administration significantly increased the attention it gave Africa but was not able to increase significantly financial support for the continent. The Bush administration tripled the amount of aid to Africa, but did not increase the personal contact or attention. The net result so far this decade is that China has advanced its interests in Africa to a greater extent than the United States has done. The global financial crisis will adversely affect both China’s and the United States’ ability to enhance relations with Africa. The United States still has more resources than China but China is in relatively better economic shape following the financial meltdown. If current trends continue, China may have the short-term advantage in Africa.The entire presentation can be accessed here, in PDF format.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Indiana University, Bloomington, recently posted a transcript of my remarks at its March 6 - 7 China in Africa symposium, co-sponsored by its East Asian Studies Center's African studies program (site) and its Center for International Business Education and Research (site). My talk was titled "Comparing Engagement with Africa by China and the United States." Here's the conclusion: