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The Political Economy of China's Aid Policy in Africa

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  • Gernot Pehnelt

    ()
    (School of Busniess and Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany.)

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    Abstract

    In recent years, China has become a major power on the African continent, not only with respect to trade and investment, but also as a donor of development aid. Although there is no accurate measure of the exact size of China’s aid program, since China rather underestimates the volume in official statistics, estimates on the basis of press releases, official announcements and assessments of major projects in Africa suggest that China has already overtaken the World Bank in lending to Africa. In this article, we analyze China’s aid policy in Africa from a political economy perspective. We show that China is using (tied) aid and loans in order to reach specific economic and political goals and that Beijing has been quite successful in doing so. The impressing success of China in getting access to African countries can be explained by comparative advantages of the People’s Republic, especially in unstable nations and "rough" states. China’s engagement in Africa causes some serious problems with traditional donors. We discuss these conflicts and provide a critical assessment of China’s role in Africa. Finally, we discuss the policy implications for the donor community.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-051.

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    Date of creation: 22 Aug 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-051

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    Keywords: China; Africa; development aid; political economy;

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