l By  Kendra Zuhair l

Modern China’s initial presence in Africa became evident in the 1960s, seeking ties with newly independent African governments and several liberation movements. During this period, China’s top priority was to establish diplomatic relationships with new governments, drawing these nations away from recognizing Taiwan. With rapid expansion in manufacturing and China’s industrial capacity in 1990s, China shifted focus to procuring energy and mineral resources in Africa. In 1997, China – Africa trade was valued at $5BillionUSD a year and $107BillionUSD by 2008, slightly putting China ahead of the United States as Africa’s biggest trading partner.

China’s foreign policy approach towards Africa in recent times have become more active and conceptual, equipping Chinese companies to deal better with the social and political risks that exist in African nations compared to Western multinationals. Probably as a result of the Chinese economic success without contemporary political reforms, China’s diplomacy has successfully walked its way into the heart of rivalry political movements with varying ideologies and China’s conceptual diplomacy with African nations stresses the point that it’s a global power with a different nature far from that the West has always pushed. And the Chinese diplomacy clearly can relate to Africa’s development needs (considering they share similar economic struggles), earning the Chinese diplomats African leaders' trust in trade negotiations.

China’s diplomacy in recent times is also fluid enough to groom nations struggling with international relationships resulting from sanctions, conflicts and tyranny and relationship with Africa is clearly guided by templates seeking ‘win-win’ and bilateral agreements that avoids domestic politics of all sorts, and this has structured Africa as the new ‘home’ to Chinese diplomats.

China certainly is offering something totally new as the new imperialists in assumption that every African country can stand on its own like they have successfully done with communist ideas and partial democratic system. It’s quite easy to assume that China’s end game in Africa is close, that peaceful co-existence and equality remain the goals of the Chinese diplomacy. Contrary to this, China seem to have set in motion the next phase of its long term plan to dominate the new world they have envisioned. Increasing the awareness of its country cultures in African nations, providing funds for exchange in Chinese mainland, and making efforts to create African political elites who have found comfort in their warmth. They ensure they keep to their plan by rejecting the Western demands for collaborative international governance in line with their moral standards the world have always known.

The global economy is fast becoming a ‘jungle’; every nation is struggling to align with global macroeconomic goals in order to favourably contribute, while nation’s common interests are protected. Every nation clearly needs to now understand the tools for effective foreign policy in order to build a very potent one that is sufficiently selfish, greedy and deceptive in drawing enough opportunities for its citizens. This is the true nature of diplomacy the West or the Chinese will never demand from African leaders because it weakens their position and interests in the global economy.

The bunnies need to learn to produce their own carrots; it’s the only way to truly protect sovereignty and the dignity of its people.

 

Kendra Zuhair, a graduate of Mass Communication at the University of Jos is a social entrepreneur, aspiring philanthropist and an expressive political voice. She also shares a few of her thoughts on her blog http://zuhairdeconstructed.wordpress.com/

Follow on twitter @kendrazuhair