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How Has China's and India's Africa Policy Changed in the Post-Cold War? What Factors Now Shape This Engagement?

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How has China's and India's Africa policy changed in the post-Cold War? What factors now shape this engagement?

Table of Content

1 China's and India's relations with Africa before the 1990s.............................. 3

2 How has China's and India's Africa policy changed in the post-Cold War era?....... 4

3 What are the shaping factors of China's and India's relationship with Africa today? 9

3.1 China's and India's economic concerns................................................ 9

3.2 Political solidarity ........................................................................ 12

4 Conclusion..................................................................................... 12

Bibliography.................................................................................... 15

How has China's and India's Africa policy changed in the post-Cold War? What factors now shape this engagement?

1. China's and India's relations with Africa before 1990s

China's and India's Africa policies changed dramatically in the last two decades. Before the end of the Cold War China's and India's engagement in Africa was mainly driven by political diplomacy which developed out of the non-alignment movement (NAM), which was an effort of the Afro-Asian solidarity to oppose the dominance of the Western world and the Soviet Union (Nopper, T. K. 2008). Both countries' identities always claimed as belonging to the third world, and therefore their relations with Africa were mainly based on political idealistic principles which resulted in the promotion of self-reliance, liberation and South-South solidarity. Anti-colonialism movements and interventions against institutionalised racism traditionally played a major role in China's and India's Africa policies (Beri, R. 2003).

India assisted and advised the Election Commissioners in Sudan at the first parliamentary election in 1953 and India was participating in several peacekeeping operations, e.g. in the 1960s in the newly independent Democratic Republic of Congo. After independence of many African countries in the 1960s, China was still engaged in anti-racism movements. In 1983 China intervened in the Apartheid conflict in South Africa and demanded a peaceful resolution through negotiations between the Apartheid regime and the ANC. The South-South solidarity groups pursued common interests and goals which not only included diplomatic principles but also technical support in regard to solve common issues like poverty and underdevelopment.

Particularly China promoted solidarity and mutual respect among the developing countries (Cheru, F., Obi, C. 2010). Hence, China tried to distinguish its development assistance and its political partnership with African countries from the practices of Western countries and the Soviet Union. The development assistance of China was largely based on infrastructure projects, like railway, school, stadium, hospital, textile mills and hydropower plants building in several African countries (Bhattacharya, A. 2006). China's engagement in Africa was closely linked to its self-conception and self-interest. Consequently China's development assistance and technical support experienced several ebbs and flows in its history. In the 1960s China's ideological based policy towards Africa was also led by the goal to secure international recognition in order to oppose Taiwan and displace them in the United Nations Security Council. In 1963 Taiwan enjoyed the support and recognition of 19 newly independent African states, whereas only 13 African countries recognised China. In 1971 China finally replaced Taiwan in the Security Council and more and more African countries began to shift towards China as a strategic partner. Today Taiwan is only recognised by four African countries - Burkina Faso, Swaziland, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Gambia - and thus China's Africa policy is not strongly influenced by the Taiwan issue anymore, although China still tries to acquire extensive recognition in order to maintain its seat in the UN Security Council and status in the General Assembly (Rotberg, R. I. 2008). Furthermore, two major events made China reconsider its Africa policy to either a scale down or a newly developed interest in Africa. In the mid 1980s, about 15 years after the start of China's industrialisation and modernisation, which provided China with a new economic status in the global economy, the anti-Soviet element did no longer exist. Thus, China's Africa policy became more and more guided by economic rather than ideological factors, although China continued to pursue the principles of solidarity, non-interference and mutual beneficial partnerships. China recognised Africa as largely immaterial in its quest for modernisation, and thus China reoriented its foreign policy more towards the developed countries and China's trade with Africa started to stagnate (Taylor, I. 1998). The second event was the Tian'anmen massacre , which led China into a diplomatic isolation from the rest of the world due to human rights criticism. By then China was not ready for a political reform and consequently it needed new allies. African countries did not condemn China for the Tian'anmen massacre and provided valuable diplomatic support for China. (Lammers, E. 2007).

At the same time India liberalised its markets which guided their Africa policy from Nehruvian non-alignment and Gandhian idealism to more pragmatic policies focusing on trade and investment (Cheru, F., Obi, C. 2010). With the rise India in the global economy, the Indian National Congress (INC) government recognised its own security needs, involving energy, natural resources, maritime, in order to complement its economic growth and simultaneously respond to developmental needs in the world particularly in Africa. India has restructured its foreign policy around a 'Look East' strategy embracing strategic and pragmatic partnerships with South-East Asian countries and Indian Ocean Rim states.

2. How has China's and India's Africa policy changed in the post-Cold War period?

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