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From revolution to business : China's changing discourses on Africa.

Cao, Qing (2013) 'From revolution to business : China's changing discourses on Africa.', in The morality of China in Africa : the middle kingdom and the dark continent. London: Zed Books, pp. 60-69.


During his visit to Nigeria in July 2011, British prime minister David Cameron spoke about the problem of China’s increasing ‘authoritarian capitalism’ in Africa and the value of ‘liberal democracy’ for Africa’s future. The Daily Mail reported that ‘Mr. Cameron admitted the West is increasingly alarmed by Beijing’s leading role in the new “scramble for Africa”.’ Chinese scholars react to such criticism with the charge of hypocrisy by invoking the iniquity of Western historical colonialism in Africa and the contemporary arrogance of imposing conditions on aid to and trade with Africa. In step with Cameron, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, in her visit to Zambia in June 2011, warned African nations in Lusaka of the threat of ‘neocolonialism’ at the hands of external actors – implying China. Again, China was quick to point to America’s much larger share of oil imports from Africa and its undue paranoia concerning China’s African engagement. The backdrop to this recent discursive battle is the surge in China’s business operations in Africa during the first decade of the new century. Trade between China and Africa grew from US$10 billion in 2000 to US$114.8 billion in 2010. China became Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Date of first online publication:09 May 2013
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