Author: Horace Campbell.
Campbell, Horace. 2008. "China in Africa: challenging US global hegemony." Third World Quarterly 29 (1): 89 - 105.
In the first decade of the 21st century China has been able to enter political, military and commercial deals with countries of the asean
community, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the countries and observers in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (sco
). In November 2006 China sealed this circle with a strategic partnership with Africa at a major feast of leaders celebrating the friendship and co-operation between the two. The emergence of China as a force in Africa complicated the tussle between the EU and the USA over the â€˜who controls Africaâ€™. The new relations between Africa and China could be described in the words of Gramsci, as, â€˜the old is dying yet the new is yet to be bornâ€™. Chinese relations with Africa combine elements of the old (extraction of raw materials), yet the experience of transformation in China ensures that there are many positive and negative lessons to be learnt. What is new is the prospect for the consolidation of African independence and the challenge to the hegemony of the dollar and US imperialism. I argue in this paper that, in the short term, one of China's most important roles will be to break the disarticulation between the financial and productive sectors of the economy and to stem the outflow of capital from Africa. In the long run the experience of linking new ideas of science and technology to a home grown path of reconstruction can be an important lesson for Africa. State-to-state relations are usually opportunistic and it is for this reason that transnational civil society linkages between the Chinese and African people will be more important than relations between leaders.