- Africa is one of the main arenas for global competition over energy resources, market opportunities and security interests
- The era of ever-expanding Chinese loans to Africa is almost certainly over
- China remains Africa’s main individual trading partner and a major foreign investor
China’s economic approach to Africa dates back to 1996 when Beijing, seeing the need to diversify the supply of energy resources and primary commodities to its fast-growing economy, drafted its Going Out strategy.
In the global south, this strategy was based on three main principles. The first was nationalism: all economic activities were under Beijing’s political control, and the emphasis was on state-to-state relations. The second was the principle of noninterference, translated into a near absolute respect for state sovereignty – the only exception being that partners must adopt Beijing’s One-China policy (essentially requiring countries to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan). The third principle was China’s willingness to invest in high-risk environments.