(Is) African Spring in Chinese Foreign Policy (?)

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Güntay V.

Asia Europe Journal, vol.19, no.3, pp.275-290, 2021 (SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10308-021-00602-w
  • Journal Name: Asia Europe Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EconLit
  • Page Numbers: pp.275-290
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


The basis of Chinas relations with African countries dates back to the 1950s. Especially in 1955, the Bandung Conference, in which China and African countries came together, provided an excellent opportunity for these countries to establish bilateral relations. While China did not have diplomatic relations with Africa in the pre-Cold War period and had limited relations with the continent in the context of the developments in the international system during the Cold War period, a critical revival was observed in Chinas relations with Africa in the 1990s. The 2000s were the years when this vitality reflected on economic indicators. Apart from these emphases, Chinas policies in the frame- work of soft power strategy have a significant impact on the positive progress of Chinas relations with African countries. Chinas interest in Africa has been directly influenced by changes in China and the international system for nearly seventy years covering the specified period. Both its economic potential and the need to provide the resources, China has developed commercial and economic cooperation and partnerships with other states. This situation inevitably leads China to relate to different geographies. With its political and military power, which has developed in parallel with its increasing economic power, China has become one of the major players in the international system. In this study, it is revealed how Chinas foreign policy towards Africa adapts to the changes and transformations witnessed in the country and international system. It is empha- sized that China tries to develop different strategies from traditional actors who are active in the continent since the colonial period. In this direction, the main question of the study is whether Africa is a competition area for China or a clear trade area. The apparent hypothesis is a developing Chinese presence in Africa and its discovery. For this reason, Chinas existence in Africa was tried to be tested in the historical perspective.