China’s Opportunities and Limitations in Africa

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Thani 25, 1444 2022-11-20

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

One of the realities of the emerging multipolar global order is increased economic and geopolitical significance of Africa.

While the continent is nowhere near realizing its true potential, things are slowly but surely changing.

For China, Africa is of immense importance due to its untapped markets and vast natural resources.

Naturally, Beijing is keen to cultivate close links with as many governments as possible on the continent.

This has aroused intense attention of the western corporate media.

It is framed mostly in negative terms with every Chinese project painted as economic imperialism.

Periodically, western media outlets also allow indigenous African voices to present a more balanced picture of China’s role to maintain the façade of objectivity, the overall media narrative is extremely negative.

Whether one has a positive or negative opinion of China’s role, the reality is that its role in Africa is rising.

It is also a fact that western regimes will make every effort to curtail China’s influence on the continent.

This is likely to happen not only by co-opting certain African governments into the western camp, but also facilitating other US-prone countries to take up a more prominent role in Africa.

For example, an increased role for countries like Turkey and Malaysia can be envisioned.

This would serve Washington’s purpose well.

Through the involvement of Turkey and Malaysia, China’s role in the continent can be restricted.

The assumption is that China and other developing countries will enter into cut-throat competition, thereby undermining each other.

While China’s economic involvement does produce tangible benefits for Africa, in terms of soft-power and cultural diplomacy, Beijing’s power projection is limited.

For most Africans, China is an enigma wrapped in mystery.

The continent was for centuries colonised by European powers: France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal.

They ravaged the continent stealing its vast natural resources, destroying indigenous culture and imposing western languages.

Despite a theoretical end to colonialism, the Europeans continue to steal Africa’s immense riches from gold to diamonds.

Even the zionists are involved in this grand theft.

While it was the European powers that stole Africa’s wealth, and now also joined by the Americans and Israelis, the western propaganda machine is busy making sure that Africans see China through its negative lens.

Beijing’s propaganda machine is simply not able to counter the sophisticated western information war.

Thus, if China pursues its economic interests in Africa on its own without partnering with other developing countries, its achievements will be limited.

The presence of diverse and multiple economic actors in Africa will create more maneuvering space for all parties involved.

Beijing’s opportunities would be significantly broadened if it partners with countries like Malaysia and Turkey, both of whom have significant economic presence in Africa.

Additionally, Turkey and Malaysia also have religious and historical kinship with many African countries.

China is a virtual stranger.

If the three work together, this will prove beneficial for all of them through exchange of ideas, services and shared interests.

The approach of many African leaders shows that they are trying not to get entangled in the west’s agenda which aims to retain global hegemony.

However, pursuing this middle ground by balancing western meddling vis-à-vis Chinese economic power alone is not a durable policy.

In the emerging multipolar world order, China and the economies of Africa, Turkey and Malaysia will have greater mutually beneficial outcomes if they avoid cut-throat capitalist competition.

If they fail to avoid such short-sighted policies, they will only create unnecessary friction on the already troubled continent that will be exploited by the west.

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