Monday, February 2, 2015

China's Alternative Diplomacy: Implications for Africa

The Diplomat published on 30 January 2015 an excellent commentary titled "China's Alternative Diplomacy" by Zheng Wang, director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

While the focus of the commentary is on China's periphery in Asia, it has implications for Africa.  The basic argument is that China under Xi Jinping is creating new international platforms that China can control or substantially influence while it retains its engagement with traditional institutions such as the World Bank and IMF.  While these new platforms are mostly economic, the goal is to ensure China's long-term security and strategic objectives throughout the world.  Africa remains on the margins of these security concerns but does come into play as a major source of oil and minerals and a region where Chinese interests are already subject to harm.  Terrorist groups in Africa are potentially even a source of support for the minority Muslim Uyghur population in western China.  The new BRICS development bank is an example of China's alternative diplomacy relevant to Africa. 

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