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Beyond the New “Two Whateverisms”: China’s Ties in Africa


  • Ian Taylor


The exponential rise of Chinese activities in Africa over the last eight years has been accompanied by a rise in accusations that “China” is seeking to colonise Africa and/or is responsible for a whole host of issues and problems on the continent. Such commentaries have had the intriguing effect of manufacturing a new “two whateverisms” (liangge fanshi), this time built around crude binaries: whatever “China” does in Africa is immoral, and whatever others (either “the West” or African actors) do – or do not do – can be explained away, if not defended. This article argues for a more nuanced perspective on the prospects and issues that rising Chinese activities in Africa bring.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Taylor, 2008. "Beyond the New “Two Whateverisms”: China’s Ties in Africa," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 37(3), pages 181-195.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:37:y:2008:i:3:p:181-195

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