Author: Bates Gill, Chin-hao Huang, J. Stephen Morrison.
China, in its quest for a closer strategic partnership with Africa, has increasingly dynamic economic, political, and diplomatic activities on the continent. As demonstrated in the third Forum on China and Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in November 2006, the high-profile summit marked a historic moment in China- Africa relations. China’s highest leadership actively espoused the summit’s ambitious vision, which was enthusiastically embraced by a broad range of African leaders. Forty-eight African countries were present, including 43 heads of state. The Chinese push forward in Africa raises the promise of achieving future gains that benefit Africa in significant, constructive ways, raising hopes that China will seriously turn its attention to long-neglected areas such as infrastructure development and that its strategic approach will raise Africa’s status globally, intensify political and market competition, create promising new choices in external partnerships, strengthen African capacities to combat malaria and HIV/AIDS, and propel the continent’s economic growth, enabling African countries to better integrate with the global economy.