China’s Expanding African Relations

China’s Expanding African Relations: Implications for U.S. National Security

Lloyd Thrall
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    China’s Expanding African Relations
    Book Description:

    Across economic, political, and security domains, the growth of China’s presence in Africa has been swift and staggering, which has fed both simplistic caricatures of China’s role on the continent and fears of renewed geopolitical competition. A closer look reveals a more balanced picture. This report examines how China’s growing engagement affects the United States’ role in Africa and offers policy recommendations for U.S. military leaders.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9038-6
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Table
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction and Historical Antecedents
    (pp. 1-8)

    The explosive growth in Sino-African relations over the past decade has heightened trepidation about China’s role in Africa. Of the more than 5 million Chinese citizens living overseas, approximately 1 million live in Africa, up from only a few thousand ten years ago.¹ China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has 20 times the number of peacekeepers in Africa now than it did in 2000, and it is the largest contributor among the permanent United Nations (U.N.) Security Council members.² Sino-African trade increased almost twentyfold over the same period, from $10 billion in 2000 to more than $180 billion in 2012, with...

  9. CHAPTER TWO China’s African Interests and Strategic Perceptions
    (pp. 9-20)

    This chapter describes the strategic interests and perceptions driving Chinese behavior in Africa. This description considers the range of economic, political, and security interests across the relevant Chinese government, commercial, and military stakeholders. Such interests can be in tension with one another—for example, Beijing’s interest in market access versus its desire for a favorable international image. More importantly, Beijing’s interest in the stability of its trading partners and protecting overseas investments has gradually grown over the past decade despite being in tension with Beijing’s interests in promoting international norms of nonintervention and absolute sovereignty. As noted in Chapter One,...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Chinese Presence and Behavior in Africa
    (pp. 21-74)

    This chapter describes the behavior of Chinese economic, political, and military actors in Africa, driven by the interests described in Chapter Two. This review includes particular attention on natural resource imports, arms exports, loans and investments, political engagement, and military activities. The chapter concludes by considering near-and medium-term changes to Sino-African relations.

    In both trade and investment, Sino-African economic relations have expanded dramatically in the past ten years. These ties have elevated Africa from minimal to moderate economic significance for China and have made China a key variable in several African economies. While there is legitimate disagreement about the extent...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Sino-American Interest Correlation in Africa and Conclusions
    (pp. 75-92)

    This chapter examines the common, competing, and conflicting interests of American and Chinese actors in Africa before concluding with recommendations for U.S. policy.

    Drawn from a range of government and academic sources, U.S. strategic interests in Africa are defined here as stability; democratic and constitution-based governance; judicial and human rights improvements; African economic growth; increased trade (including natural resources) and access to African markets; defeating transnational terrorist, criminal, and extremist groups; and access to military operating locations and overflight rights when needed.¹

    The United States and China share a fundamental interest in the stability of African states. African stability is...

  12. References
    (pp. 93-110)