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In 2006, the Chinese government released its first ever Africa policy paper. In the document, the government of China announced its plans to forge a strong and enduring relationship with Africa on the basis of four ideals: mutual tolerance despite differing ideologies, cooperation in international politics, economic intercourse predicated upon fairness, and observance of Africa’s right to choose its own path to economic development.[1] This document, along with the third Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (or FOCAC) (at which more than forty-five African leaders gathered to discuss the future of China-Africa relations), served as a springboard for future Chinese engagement in Africa.[2] Four years later, in 2010, trade between China and Africa exceeded $120 billion.[3] Nevertheless, China was not alone in its quest to build a presence in one of the world’s largest and most populous continents. In April 2008, India, following in China’s footsteps, held the first India-Africa summit in New Delhi, thus creating a new bond between India and Africa. Subsequently, India unveiled a number of initiatives, including a “$5.4 billion concessionary credit line over the next five years and duty-free access of India’s total tariff lines, with a unilateral granting of preferential duty access to 9% of India’s total tariff lines for Africa’s 34 least developed countries.”[4] The purpose of this paper is to examine the scope of “Chindia’s” recent engagement in Africa. As well, the aim of this paper is to suggest that while countries in Africa should welcome aid from Asian nations, they should also exercise their bargaining power to (1) limit or actively regulate infrastructure projects, (2) condemn the adoption of economic policies that threaten their domestic markets, and (3) implore “Chindia” to help them address the socioeconomic and public health challenges that inhibit long-term economic growth.

[1] Fantu Cheru and Cyril Obi, “Chinese and Indian Engagement in Africa: Competitive or Mutually Reinforcing Strategies?” Foreign Affairs, no. 2 (2011): 95.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “The Chinese in Africa: Trying to Pull Together,” The Economist, April 20, 2011, (accessed November 25, 2013).

[4] Ian Taylor, “India’s Rise in Africa,” 785.


Winner of the 2nd Prize for the 2014 Writing Across the Curriculum contest. Undergraduate paper submitted to Dr. Alka Jauhari in the Government and Politics Department of Sacred Heart University.

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