Whither the Forum On China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Fifteen years on?
By Dr Matlotleng Matlou1
In October 2000, following the initiative of various African countries the inaugural Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a formal multilateral diplomatic mechanism for joint consultation, dialogue, planning and cooperation took place. FOCAC is a one continent and one country relationship which reflects an asymmetrical power configuration. The general naming principle in chronological order in international relations is not observed; an observable trend in these structures that Africa has established over the past few decades with various countries and regions because of the continent’s relative weakness and fragile unity of purpose2. May be FOCAC sounds easier on the tongue than Forum On Africa China Cooperation (FOACC)! Unsurprisingly China dominates the “partnership” even though this was originally an African initiative. Many critics of the dominance of foreigners over Africa from ancient times by the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians and Arabs, later followed by Europeans and lately by fast developing nations like Brazil, India and China, argue that this will continue until the continent returns to its roots and seeks autochthonous development; plus embarking upon mental liberation of its people, since as the late Jomo Kenyatta said decades ago ‘not yet Uhuru” (independent). Former president Mbeki in 2007 stated that “3if Africa just continues to export raw materials to China while importing Chinese manufactured goods, the African continent could be condemned to underdevelopment.” Consequently the much lauded FOCAC, is largely a vehicle for advancement of Chinese interests; its “altruism” is an instrument of penetrating and dominating Africa largely with the concurrence of African elites who benefit from this unequal relationship.
The Long Thread of Africa China Relations
The history of Africa China relations date back centuries to about 202 BC and 220 AD based mainly on trade and adventurers on voyages of discovery. Tuang Ch’eng Shih, who died in 863 developed the compilation Yu-yang-tsa tsu about the land of Po-pa-li (Somalia). Archaeologists discovered amongst other items Chinese coins in Mogadishu and Kilwa in Somalia and Tanzania respectively, from mainly the Song and some from the Ming and Qing dynasties. In Kenya there is evidence of Chines porcelains from the 618-907 Tang dynasty; whilst in South Africa and Zimbabwe Chinese ceramics dating to the Song dynasty have been found and trade relations existed between Alexandria, Egypt and China in the C10th. In 1226 Chao Jukua the Fujian province Foreign Trade Commissioner wrote about Somalia and Zanzibar. In 1320 Chu Ssu-pen a Chinese mapmaker included products depicting southern Africa. Ibn Battuta a Moroccan historian and traveller undertook a voyage to China in the C14th and arrived there in April 1435 after a sojourn in India. He described China as a safe country where one could carry huge amounts of money and valuables about and not be robbed.
In the 15th century Admiral Zheng undertook a voyage to Somalia and Mozambique to enhance trade and spread Chines culture. He bestowed varying gifts and titles on African rulers (making them tributaries of the Ming Empire!) and took back two giraffes and numerous African goods for the Ming Emperor Yongle. An African Chinese community springing from Chinese sailors marooned on Lamu Island, Kenya from that period survives today. In 1724 the Dutch transferred a few Chinese prisoners from Indonesia to South Africa and toward the end of the 19th century the British brought Chinese indentured labour to South Africa to work mainly in the mines. There was then a lapse in relations especially when Africa was under the yoke of enslavement by first the Arabs and then Europeans, with the latter eventually colonising most of Africa; whilst China concentrated on internal affairs or interactions closer home. Most of these accounts are from the Chinese perspective and it is imperative that the African voice become louder and incisive on these relations of yore and the continent’s vast contribution to China’s development.
Re-connection in the 20th Century
The 1955 Bandung conference of 29 African and Asia nations laid the ground for decolonisation, non-alignment, peaceful co-existence and need for development in a bi-polar world, marked the re-establishment of relations between Africa and China. However, these remained at a low level during the reclusive Mao era of the 1950s to 1970s; highlighted by signing of few bilateral trade agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Morocco, Somalia and Sudan; whilst Premier Chou En Lai undertook a ten country tour across Africa from December 1963 to January 1964. Diplomatic relations were established with Egypt in 1965 and today stand at over 50. Burkina Faso, Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Swaziland remain exceptions maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan4. China was also very supportive of various African liberation struggles and economic aid to frontline states to stem the negative policies of white minority regimes, the most significant being the Tanzania Zambia Railway giving the latter a lifeline for its exports and imports. From 1955 to 1977, Africa bought $142 million of Chinese military equipment.
In 1971 African votes were largely responsible for China taking over from Taiwan in the UN, including the permanent security council seat leading to its greater involvement in global affairs, including becoming a member of the Group of 77 developing countries and such other fora. During the 1980s China’s focus was internal whilst undertaking its socialist market reforms and only invested in a few small scale African projects; only in the 1990s when its economic modernisation was solid and it sought to globalise was Africa again on its radar as a source for raw materials and markets for its goods, keeping millions of Chinese productive. It grew at an average of 10% over the past few decades fuelling a strong demand for commodity imports which simultaneously stimulated growth in African exports. The 1995 visit to Africa by president Zemin heralded a transformation of relations driven by geo-politics to socioeconomic underpinnings. Africa China trade was $820 million in 1979, $6.5 billion in 1999, reaching about $200 billion by 2012. Under the Going Out policy China sought to invest its trillion dollar foreign reserves to support its companies to become global, acquire raw materials and appropriate technology. In Africa China targets destinations offering stability, low wages and fast expanding populations (supply labour and serve as markets). Total Chinese investment grew from $490 million to 13.04 billion from 2003 to 2010 and was $21.23 billion by 2012; largest recipients being Algeria; Angola; Nigeria; South Africa and Sudan. By 2025 the Chinese government envisages having invested $1 trillion in Africa.
Part of its soft power projection through cultural diplomacy has included the development of Confucius Institutes or Chinese Centres in over 20 countries starting with Mauritius in 1988; cultural exchanges; training in the Mandarin language; donations of Chinese books and other cultural artefacts. There is very little reciprocal cultural projection into China, meaning limited understanding of the continent and the often negative racial superiority some Chinese project toward Africans seeing them as the weaker partner. Furthermore health diplomacy has been a viable strategy for China; over 15,000 Chinese doctors served in 47 African countries between the 1960s and 2005, treating over 170 million patients.
In the modern era we again see a continuing domination of China in relations with Africa, suggesting a lack of leadership by the latter during a period when some African countries were more advanced than China in some fields. Growing dependency as had happened previously with other foreigners was being ingrained. Africa was not asserting itself, countries pursued narrow interests and China took advantage of this disunity and lack of strategic direction.
Genesis of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation
Eighty ministers and leaders from 44 African countries attended the inaugural FOCAC meeting establishing a collective consultation and cooperation platform to institutionalise the by then fifty years of relations in the modern era. President Jiang Zemin spoke to the: unjust and unequal world order disadvantaging developing countries; importance of national self-determination and condemnation of foreign meddling in the internal affairs of nation-states; greater economic co-operation between developing countries and overcoming structural dependencies on the West being non-negotiable and; vitality of peaceful multilateral solutions to economic, political, environmental and security related problems. Thus Africa and China agreed to cooperate on the basis of equality and mutual respect with a view to renewing and developing relations in the 21st century based on the principles of diversity in form and content; emphasis on practical results; pursuit of common progress; and amicable settlement of differences. Summit agreed to develop a strategic partnership covering issues of inter-governmental co-operation; trade and investment; engineering and infrastructural projects; financial co-operation, debt relief and cancellation; tourism; migration; agriculture; exploration and utilisation of natural resources and energy; scientific, technological and culture; medical field; education and human resources development multilateral and trilateral co-operation; and arms control. Furthermore a Follow-up Mechanism to monitor, evaluate and track implementation was established encompassing biennial and triennial engagements of senior officials and ministers and heads of government and state respectively alternating between Africa and China.
In December 2003 FOCAC met in Addis Ababa attended by 44 African countries and China; adopting the first three year action plan, a tradition that has continued since then. There was a review of the progress since 2000 and agreement to streamline the various fields of cooperation agreed to then under the following political affairs, peace and security; multilateral cooperation; economic development social development sub-headings in order to better implement and follow up issues.
China committed to various forms of assistance including reducing or cancelling altogether 156 matured debts totalling RMB 10.5 billion Yuan of 31 African LDCs; extending low rates and “unconditional credit lines usually 1.5% for 15 to 20 years were widely extended to African countries; providing thousands of UN peacekeepers; and training 10,000 African professionals. There was re-commitment to the principles of the AU and NEPAD by both sides. Furthermore, the first Africa China business conference was convened where 20 new agreements valued $680 million. In August 2004 the initial China-Africa Youth Festival was held in Beijing.
FOCAC III in 2006 in Beijing, was also the Year of Africa and China unveiled its Africa White Paper to 48 African countries (43 heads of state). There were also 1,700 delegates with representatives from more than 20 African and United Nations organisations plus more than 1,000 reporters - about 300 from Africa, covering events. It provided for significant increases in aid, investment and trade with Africa and outlines for China’s relations with Africa, comprising: sincerity, friendship and equality; mutual benefit, reciprocity and common prosperity; mutual support and close co-ordination and mutual learning and common paths of development. Furthermore China would engender capacity building and cooperate with other international partners to ensure Africa’s sustainable development.
China would: double its 2006 level of assistance by 2009; cancel debts maturing end 2005 owed by the most heavily-indebted nations; create three to five African trade and economic zones; extend $5 billion each in preferential loans and credits over 2006 to 2009 and, to support investment in Africa; construct of 30 hospitals and malaria treatment centres (provide RMB 300 million of grant for providing artemisinin - to treat multi-drug-resistant strains of falciparum malaria) each, and 100 new schools across rural Africa; implement tariff eliminations on African exports to China from 190 to 440 product lines from the least developed countries from the continent; and grow trade to $100 billion per year by 2010. Furthermore China would train 15,000 African professionals; provide 100 senior agricultural experts; establish 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centres; avail 300 youth volunteers; build 100 rural schools in Africa; and increase scholarships from the current 2,000 per year to 4,000 per year by 2009.
By 2009, China had constructed 2000 and 3000 kilometres of rail and road networks; 11 bridges; dozens of hydro-electric power stations and ports across Africa. It had sent 104 agricultural experts; built 45 agricultural demonstration centres; provided 29,465 scholarships and built 107 schools; and disbursed $1.5 million to the NEPAD personnel training programme. Furthermore, China had recognised twenty-nine African countries as approved destinations for its tourists a status which engenders the growth of the industry. Trade tripled in value to $163 billion between 2006 and 2011; from 2008 China has been Africa’s largest trading partner. However, 75 and 80% of the Chinese imports from and exports to Africa South of the Sahara are to the following groups of countries Angola, the two Congos, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa; and Angola, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and South Africa respectively. Thousands of Africans were trained in the medical field in China. More than $10 billion debt of over 30 countries has been cancelled by China since 2000. By 2007 and 2011 Chinese firms had won over $30 billion of tenders and Chinese foreign direct investment in Africa was $16 billion respectively. China doubled its African buyers export credit, grants and loans from $5; 10 and 20 billion in 2006; 2009 and 2012 respectively.
At FOCAC IV leaders from 49 African countries and China agreed to the following priorities: expanding high-level exchanges; promoting regional peace; enhanced links with African sub-regional organisations; achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); co-operation on climate change and co-ordination in addressing global trade; and financial issues. China promised: 5 500 scholarships for Africans; doubling assistance to Africa; $2 and 3 billion in buyer credits and preferential loans respectively; $ 5 billion development fund and the cancellation of African debt. Furthermore, China would build a number of schools, hospitals, malaria centres and agriculture demonstration centres. Under trade there would be increased tariff free access to the Chinese market, improved logistic supply chains, aiding African entrepreneurs to set up businesses and permanent exhibition of African-made products in China.
At FOCAC V Africa and China agreed to continue high level visits and dialogue across all spheres of government, business and civil society; enhance effectiveness of their consultation and cooperation mechanisms; greater support for the AU and regional economic communities and the integration process; cooperation on peace and security and global affairs; and engendering socioeconomic ties. Some of the Chinese commitments in 2012 were: furnishing $20 billion of loans for agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing and SMME development; encouraging currency swaps for trade purposes; instituting zero-tariff ratings on 97% of goods from LDCs; the China Africa Development Fund received a $5 billion injection; capacity building in ICT including establishing Press Exchange Centre in China and CCTV Africa in Kenya; improved tourism and transport linkages; increased grants and loans; train 30,000 professionals and provide 18,000 scholarships; 1,500 medical workers; strengthen health, science and technology; reduce poverty; and address climate change and environmental challenges. Furthermore, China provided: $2 million to UNESCO for higher education in Africa; bank rolled the 20+20 cooperation programme between higher education institutions; 100 research events between higher education; and 10+10 programmes between think tanks. In January 2012, the $200 million new African Union headquarters Chinese gift was inaugurated. Jai Qinling the Chinese senior political adviser described it as a towering complex speaking volumes about Africa China relations and China’s “strong resolve to African development”. It has built numerous health facilities and supplied equipment and medicaments to various countries.
The impressive array of Chinese commitments supra creates the wrong impression, that of one party giving and the other receiving. Surely over the past fifteen years China has benefitted from vast supplies of commodities; markets; investment opportunities; increased employment and upskilling of its people; spread of its culture and learning about others; extra in and outbound tourism etc that Africa has offered. African research in particular must speak to these issues and change perceptions, whilst also advocating for greater benefits for the continent from this relationship.
Is this really an Equal Partnership?
The birth of FOCAC was described as a new strategic partnership built on “political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges” encompassing many more sectors for engagement! Indeed much has been achieved by both sides, with this platform being emulated by other countries and regions engaging with Africa. However, FOCAC still presents an unequal partnership, Chinese driven especially with the largely one-sided commitments, more oriented to bilateral than multilateral or regional integration objectives and is increasing dependency rather than independence. Nevertheless, even with its challenges, China’s engagement with Africa has assisted the continent to develop faster and provided alternatives to engagement with the West.
At each FOCAC summit China reports to either having met most of its commitments or exceeded them; with little Chinese transparency it is not easy to adequately judge these findings. Moreover, little is said about the qualitative impact and outcomes; whilst African countries hardly provide updates, possibly not wanting to upset China or lacking the capacity to adequately collate the required data. It will be useful that this area be considered for cooperation, especially through educational institutions on both sides rather than government bodies that are not independent or objective enough. Some challenges in the follow up are insufficient flexibility to tackle unforeseen challenges (like reduced growth and 2008 global economic crises); myriad of commitments and social partners involved; varied levels and spheres of government to develop and implement issues; overstretched officials; insufficient attachment to FOCAC outside central governments; and limited research capacity restricting quantity and quality of knowledge. Complex heterogeneity, insufficient coordination and limited unity all stymie the integration agenda and ability of the continent to ensure that the partnership with China is more viable.
China has an ever evolving Africa policy; whilst the opposite is not the case even fifteen years later, preferring bilateral relations which benefit individual countries (the whole not being greater than the sum of its parts!). Neither the AU nor any of the Regional Economic Communities have clear China policies, even though multilateral cooperation is regularly touted. One could argue that countries are the building blocs of sub-regional and continental integration so they need strengthening. However, the possibilities of centrifugal forces of nationalism being encouraged become greater as countries seek maximum benefits for themselves. The challenge is how to create a balance between the three levels mentioned above to ensure cross fertilisation and increased multiplier effects to ensure sustainable development for Africa.
The two sides are unequal in development, one is a country which has clear focus on what it seeks, the others 54 disparate countries united by being on one continent. Regional blocs and the African Union should be at the level at which strategy should be outlined, building on the NEPAD model of strong national and regional blocs as the basis for African international relations. However, this is presently more a dream than reality. Unlike Africa, China outlines new African oriented initiatives and three year action plans after each summit. Meanwhile Africa does not emphasise what it brings to the partnership which the Chinese greatly require ie markets, natural resources, support in global fora, decades of developmental experience, etc which should strengthen it during negotiations and engender greater leverage. Rather it prefers the begging bowl tag in order to extract greater sympathy and resources from China. This is in contradiction to what Chinese Premier Wen stated at FOCAC IV in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt, in November 2009 that Africa’s development had to be led by its people, based on their experiences, interest, own efforts and not through prescriptions from outsiders. The latter should only act as genuine partners.
Many African leaders, including Nkrumah at the inauguration of the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963, have stated the obvious, however leadership deficit means insufficient action has been taken to deal with the challenge outlined above. At FOCAC V President Zuma stated that “Africa’s commitment to China’s development has been demonstrated by the supply of raw materials, other products and technology transfer. This trade pattern is unsustainable in the long term. Africa’s past economic experience with Europe dictates a need to be cautious when entering into partnership with other economies.” The Chinese cannot be blamed for pursuing their own interests and the development of Africa can only be undertaken by its people and governments. The latter in particular must be cajoled into developing strategies benefitting the continent; defending Africa’s interests and ensuring there are consequences for both locals and foreigners who compromise Africa.
With the increasing generosity of each FOCAC summit expectations are raised and there is bound to be disappointment on both sides of over ambitious African expectations and unbearable pressure on China. Furthermore, China is no longer the monolithic, centralised state of yore. As it becomes more open and globalised, even the state enterprises are more independent; the private sector more unshackled; NGOs more critical; increased challenges of corruption, crime and other social anomie. There is also the myth of Chinese productivity; an efficient well-oiled government machinery and; all-pervasive state. However a huge government bureaucracy and myriad horizontal and vertical levels of government; regional interests; rural urban differences etc suggest otherwise. Dealing with the Chinese government requires fine navigating skills across a cobweb of Communist Party functionaries; varying departments and agencies and interests. So FOCAC creates an unrealistic picture of the influence of the state. On the African side civil society in particular is vigilant about the new scramble for Africa and the unequal relationship with China. They want their leaders to be more development conscious and representative of African interests rather than kowtowing to China’s needs.
Challenges to Watch and Opportunities to Grab in the Africa China Partnership
Some of the negatives that have gained ground since the FOCAC era are large flows of Chinese workers estimated at over a million in Africa. Many complaints have arisen about these workers sometimes being convicts or ex-prisoners; some being low skilled, un-necessarily displacing African labour and many of them staying on illegally after expiration of their contracts. Growing numbers of Chinese petty traders (many illegal immigrants) abound across various African countries often selling poor quality and counterfeit Chinese goods (which are unlikely to have been taxed or should be on the market), who fuel increased unemployment. Foreigners are not allowed to work as petty traders in China and this is the case in numerous African countries but they do not implement their laws accordingly and sometimes corruption is the order of the day. Ghana recently expelled numerous illegal Chinese gold miners who were causing havoc in the industry and for some time bilateral relations were tense; there were also violent riots in Kenya a few years ago against Chinese businesses and traders forcing the government to impose various restrictions on these entrepreneurs. It is vital that these challenges are dealt with decisively early before they become full-blown crises.
Chinese competition has led to the demise of footwear, textiles and various other industries. There has also been diversion and over-concentration of investment toward extractive activities fuelling of the Dutch disease; stymieing of agricultural development; loss of jobs; growing inequality and entrenchment of poverty in various parts of societies. Starting in the last decade there were growing reports of unfair labour practices, poor quality goods and harsh exploitation of Africans and their environments by varying Chinese enterprises. What is needed now rather than a deluge of Chinese imports is technology transfer like China got from the West just over 30 years ago laying the foundation for its rapid development and growth since then. There must be greater social responsibility by Chinese investors and the government to ensure that their activities do not despoil the environment and cause greater degradation, poverty and inequality.
If Western “aid” of over $2.3 trillion over the past five decades has been largely ineffective causing dependency, fuelling corruption and undermining local culture, why will Chinese aid be different knowing that it is also often tied? Illicit financial flows from Africa mainly to the West and increasingly to emerging powers larger than foreign aid and investment combined. Thus stemming these flows will avail more than sufficient local resources and freedom to determine Africa’s needs and independence. Africa should learn from the Chinese principle of “self-reliance first, foreign aid second”. China achieved its present level of development through hard work, huge sacrifice, clarity of purpose, direction and clarity on its national interests. However, little is being done by African elites who benefit even if less to change the issues above and it would be over-ambitious to expect the Chinese to lead Africans in this endeavour; unless the law of self-interest is turned upside down!
China is accused of utilising lack of interference in the domestic affairs of other countries to pursue economic interests in some countries where human rights are compromised and where rule of law in areas such as environmental security are limited. China (state, businesses and citizens) were widely criticised a few years back for providing military aid and selling arms to Angola, Sudan, Zimbabwe etc ; dumping inferior and cheap goods and economic strangulation; deindustrialisation; environmental damage and disregarding the laws of African countries. Recently the Dalai Lama was invited to South Africa on various occasions and his not securing visas has been linked to Chinese pressure. Can it be “non-interference” when China is intricately involved in governance and socio-economic of 50 countries in Africa; applies “subtle” pressure for leverage and its partners dread the consequences of China withdrawing aid, investment and other carrots?
Some observers suggest China’s domestic economic development outlined in its Five Year Plans seeks to build the so called Xiaokang society enhancing more equitable sharing of prosperity through the ‘five-balances’: between urban and rural development; development among regions; economic and social development; development between man and nature; and embracing globalisation partially guided its 2006 Africa White Paper. Unsurprisingly, China lifted over 600 million people out of poverty between 1978 to 2010; whilst Africa has been unable to meet the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals 2000 that expire this year. Why is Africa not seeking to learn from the Chinese experience in seeking to implement its myriad national, sub-regional and continental plans, especially the Lagos Plan of Action and Abuja Treaty that have been by-passed by time! Chinese innovation; improved productivity; investment in human capital; savings culture; efficiencies; improvement of infrastructure and drive to become a global power can be studied and adapted to develop the continent. Meanwhile China can also learn from Africa’s long history of civilisation that being the cradle of humankind has bequeathed the continent over the centuries coupled with the experience of resilience in the face of vast challenges. These are some of the issues to be placed squarely on the FOCAC agenda.
Until 2012 when a 22 year run was broken, the Chinese foreign minister began the new year with an official trip to Africa. The soothsayers need to advise if this is a sign of a tsunami in Africa China relations; is there a new attraction on the horizon and what could be the impact on FOCAC? To the extent that FOCAC is very bilaterally oriented, if the institution were to disappear tomorrow there would not be much of an impact on relations between African countries and China. Of course if Africa was more organised and sought to drive a continental agenda FOCAC can be converted into a more effective instrument for its international relations. There is a need for extra inter-linkages horizontally and vertically across the myriad of FOCAC activities; sectors; social partners within and between African countries on one hand and China on the other; creation of extra capacity within relevant institutions to collate data, analyse information and apply knowledge for development; strengthening of policy development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation; augmenting the Follow Up mechanism; enhancing involvement of sub-regional and continental institutions; and ensuring greater unity and more meeting of Africa’s interests. Streamlining of these institutional structures and clarifying priorities based on genuine needs, strengthens and availability of resources with other countries and regions means that Africa could benefit much more. Duplication and waste of resources would be reduced and cooperation with partners would enhance development effectiveness; Africa would be in the driving seat and greater return on investment achieved. Furthermore, the establishment of similar structures by Africa and other countries and regions, means opportunities exist for transferring the positives of the FOCAC experience and reducing the negatives in support of Africa’s sustainable development. This availability of alternatives must put both Africa and China on their toes, especially the latter because Africa could move some of its cooperation to these other partners.
Africa and China need each other and there are mutual benefits from their relationship. However, Africa is not leveraging its attributes as much as China because it has a weak self-perception. It is an important source of raw materials, pivotal FDI destination, growing market for global goods which keeps factories, labour and capital productive abroad. Its youth population is a major asset in a world of the fast aging, knowledge economies driven by innovation, plus its size, making Africa a possible exporter of labour in future. These are some strengthens that need to sharpen as it negotiates on FOCAC issues with China. FOCAC VI will be held in South Africa in a few months’ time and we anxiously await the African position. However, will Africa be better prepared? I make bold to state I believe not since not much changed since 2012!
Africa East Asian Affairs. (2014). The China Monitor. Issue 4, December. Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch.
Africa East Asian Affairs. (2012). The China Monitor Special Issue: Quo Vadis FOCAC? The Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation, Beijing, 19-20 July. Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch.
Eisenman, J and Kurlantzick, J. (2006). ‘China’s Africa Strategy’, Current History, Vol (105) pp 219-224.
1Director Excelsior Afrika Consulting, Tshwane and Fellow, Centre for Africa Studies, University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
2Other examples are Arab Africa Summit; France Africa Summit; India Africa Forum and Turkey Africa Summit.The Africa European Union Summit is one of the few following international relations protocol.
3Johnston. L and Yuan. C, China’s Africa Trade and Investment Policies: Review of a Noodle Bowl. Africa East Asian Affairs: The China Monitor, Issue 4 December 2014. Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch.
4In 1998 South Africa established diplomatic relations with China and down-graded relations with Taiwan to special interest level offices in each other’s country.