Author: Ian Taylor.
China's expansion into Africa has attracted a great deal of criticism, particularly regarding its implications for human rights on the continent. However, the nub of the problem is found within Africa itself, within the neo-patrimonial regimes that dominate the continent. Obviously, there is justifiable disquiet that Beijing's Africa policies may undermine political and economic reform on the continent. Nevertheless, the reasons for Africa's current predicament are complex and erecting a potential scapegoat to blame for Africa's woes makes little sense. Before critiquing China's role in Africa vis-à-vis governance and human rights, analysts need to understand both China's particular human rights discourse and the nature of most African states, for it is here that the real problem lies.