China and Africa: win-win strategy
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China and Africa: win-win strategy
power — Shelepin, Shelest, Podgorny, Polyansky, Mazurov, Voronov as well as potential rivals. He did it technically without resorting to repressions. He manipulated power cunningly, keeping everyone where that person was needed. Brezhnev was a grand master in staff games and staff struggle. A distinctive feature of Brezhnev as a leader was a desire to create his own team of faithful people. As for the conceptual strategy of the state, Brezhnev didn’t have abilities for conceptual leadership- he was not able to understand the large-scale problem of a radical reform of management methods.
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev took power in 1985. The only difference was his relative youth and speeches «without a paper note». For some time he continued to flow in the midstream of his predecessors in numerous and wordy performances. Then, he started talking about «socialism with a human face» and «return to late Lenin». Later he started to prolong the ideas of «general human values» and «new thinking». These ideas meant nothing but a refusal of Marxist-Leninist principles. One way or another, approximately by the end of 80s of XX century, a turning point was made. Gorbachev didn’t start his reformation activity with economy, but with politics. For the purposes of internal political address,
Gorbachev introduced interrelated mottos of «general human values» and «pluralism». And there was a «new thinking» for international arena.
Essentially, two powerful bombs were laid, which undermined the Soviet system and, thus, Soviet leadership. If the priority of general human values was proclaimed, it meant that the basics of Marxism-Leninism, so called class approach, were crossed out. And the permitted pluralism of opinions and expressions cast down this principle. But, if the proclamation of a thesis about general human values took the ground out of the system inside the country, the «new thinking» gave a crushing blow to the state ideology of the Soviet Union and the very Soviet state in the international scale. In accordance with the «new thinking», the USSR stopped the confrontation with the capitalist world headed by the USA by way of a few important concessions. The Putsch of the State Committee on the State of Emergency that took place in 1991 shot down the Soviet system and the respective type of leadership. Lenin announced the beginning of the Soviet system of leadership. The end of this system is personified by Gorbachev at a Crimean resort. These are the milestones of the beginning and end of the Soviet, consistent, triumphant and inevitable type of leadership.
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Smertin Yuri Grigorievitch, Kuban State University (Krasnodar), professor E-mail: usmer@hotmail. com
China and Africa: win-win strategy
Abstract: The article analyzes the various aspects of China’s policy in Africa in the 21st century. It is concluded that there is a mutual interest of PRC and African countries in multilateral cooperation.
Keywords: China, Africa, politics, economics, influence, diplomacy, interests.
Section 8. Political science
In the last decade, China has managed to strengthen seriously its influence in Africa. The Chinese government and business are interested in African oil. It is expected that China will be imported by 2020 10−15 million barrels of oil per day, i. e., the same as now mined from Saudi Arabia or all African countries put together [1, 38]. The Chinese are actively investing in the search for and development of new deposits of ores, non-ferrous and rare metals. To ensure its food security China is building on the continent agricultural enterprises in rented or purchased lands. Africa is becoming an important market for the goods exported from China. In 2012, the trade turnover between China and African countries reached $ 198. 49 billion, and in 2015 it should reach $ 300 billion. The volume of Chinese investments in Africa increased to $ 21. 23 billion. China is present, politically and economically, in all 54 countries of the continent. To achieve their goals in Africa Beijing uses different strategies, which are arranged in a precise system.
First, it appeals to the history, focusing on general distant and not-too-distant past with African nations. The brilliant episode, which draws attention, was visiting the East African coast by the Imperial fleet under the command of Admiral Zheng He in 1415. It is emphasized that he had not attempted to colonize the region, and visited it for the purpose of establishing friendly relations.
The Chinese influence in Africa began in the 60−70s of the 20th century when China was involved in the liberation wars on the continent and construction projects in independent countries. But the scale of this presence was limited by the tough competition of the USSR and the West in Africa. The African countries for the sake of receiving economic help were guided generally by one of the two world forces, and with both the People’s Republic of China had hostile relations. Only after the end of Cold war and the actual withdrawal of Russia from Africa China could fix itself on the continent as an important actor. When the present Chinese leaders speak of their relations with Africa, they always refer to the historical context. Beijing puts emphasis on common past, in which China and African countries were the victims of the Western imperialism [2, 43−58]. This historical discourse must convince the African leaders that China, having become a great nation, is committed to the interests of developing countries.
Secondly, it is offensive policy in the field of education and culture. China provides scholarships for African students (6 thousand in 2012), is teaching technical, military and medical specialists. The majority of students are trained in Chinese as Beijing understands that political and cultural influence of the country is substantially carried out through language. Thus the elite, loyal to Beijing is formed. Moreover, the increasing presence of Africans in China offers the Chinese wonderful opportunity to show their hospitality, which is an important issue in African culture. In African countries Beijing is opening Institutes ofConfucius which are the tools of promoting the Chinese language, culture, and Chinese visions of history. The first one
was opened in Nairobi in 2005. To date, 45 such Institutes have been established in 30 African countries .
Thirdly, an important element of Chinese influence in Africa has become diplomacy, which takes into account the interests of African countries, marginalized in the international arena. In 2006 the Chinese authorities published «The White Paper& quot- in which the fundamentals of new African policy were declared. Beijing emphasizes that «China seeks to establish and to develop new type of strategic partnership with Africa, characterized by equality and mutual confidence in political affairs, mutually beneficial cooperation in the economic realm, and the strengthening of exchanges in cultural affairs» .
China offers to fight together for the democratization of international relations, including the reform of the WTO and the UN, and strengthening of positions of the African countries in them. All African countries have associated themselves with the Beijing’s offer to provide developing countries with two additional seats, veto power in the UN Security Council and two seats of non-permanent members of the Council. Beijing is promoting the concept of the multipolar world, in which the major powers balance their influence and collaborate with each other. The Chinese leadership enhances South-South cooperation with the aim to improve the position of developing countries in the international arena. Frequent state visits also help to strengthen the position of China on the continent. They contribute to the establishment of personal contacts among the leaders. Frequency of the visits particularly intensified since the early 1990s. Africa has been visited by four Presidents of the People’s Republic of China: Li Xiannian, Yang Shangkun, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao. The last made six visits to Africa: two as the vice-president and four as the president. The current President, Xi Jinping committed his first overseas tour to Africa, visiting Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. From their part the heads ofAfrican states and governments also often visit China. During mutual visits China announces its new assistance initiatives, signs the multi million-dollar contracts [5, 70−93].
China has diplomatic relations with 50 of 54 countries of Africa. Only 3 small states — Burkina Faso, Swaziland, and Sao Tome and Principe — continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. All 50 countries, except for the Comoro Islands, have the embassies in Beijing. Since 1991 each new Minister of Foreign Affairs of China makes his first official visit to an African country. Every year on the invitation of the Chinese side groups of young diplomats from different African countries spend a month in China, intensively getting acquainted with the Chinese model of development [6, 25]. The People’s Republic of China uses also so-called symbolical diplomacy. In January, 2012 Chinese constructed the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
But China is also attractive for Africa for many reasons. Its powerful economic boom carried by the non-Western recipes. After decades of policies with an eye to the West now Africans are looking for new models of development. Africans willingly
China and Africa: win-win strategy
make common cause with China that is not following the neo-liheral prescriptions of the international financial institutions. It refuses to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which brings together developed countries, adhering to the principle of representative democracy and free market economy. Not by chance that the Chinese diplomatic offensive in Africa began with the countries that were in conflict with the multilateral organizations. In particular, Beijing has established a privileged relationship with Angola, Sudan and Zimbabwe. All these countries had a valuable economic asset, but, more importantly, were in a difficult relationship with the World Bank and other international financial institutions because of charges of corruption and human rights violations. Representing itself as a commercial and diplomatic partner outside the structures of the OECD, China has been able to access some attractive projects on favorable terms, such as oil production in Angola and Sudan. The Chinese do not associate their assistance with human rights, democracy, eradicating corruption, etc. For many Africans, tired of Western politicians' lectures, whose moral mandates aren’t always faultless, it becomes a breath of fresh air. Africans willingly make common cause with China, which looks as a generous coach, but not the mentor. In general, Africans are very receptive to China’s politics, which is aimed at establishing strategic partnership based on equality and mutual benefit. An important instrument for the development of relations between China and African countries is the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (at ministerial level), which since 2000 has been held every 3 years. At the Forums cooperation programs concerning social and economic development are accepted and its concrete figures are defined. In November, 2009 in Egypt (Sharm el-Sheikh) the 4th Forum took place- there were summed up the results of cooperation during the last decade, and also further plans of the Chinese investments into the African economies were announced. Beijing promised to allocate $ 10 billion soft credits, to create a fund with authorized capital of $ 1 billion for lending to medium-sized and small African companies. Besides, the People’s Republic of China promised to enter a zero duty for 95% of goods from the poorest countries of Africa, and as well as to write off the debts to the most hopeless debtors. The humanitarian program of cooperation assumes granting the medical equipment for $ 73 million to 30 hospitals, building of 50 schools and construction of 100 projects on production of «clean» energy from renewable sources . This program was completely realized.
According to the 2010 State Council «White Paper», this will be composed of $ 3 billion in preferential loans, $ 2 billion in preferential export buyer’s credits, and $ 5 billion toward the establishment of the China-Africa Development Fund, which is designed to encourage and support Chinese companies investing in projects in Africa. The «White Paper» also indicated that China would provide credits of up to $ 1 billion toward Chinese financial institutions for the development of small and medium enterprises in Africa .
The 5th Forum took place in 2012 in Beijing. On its results the document «The Plan of Action for 2013−2015» was accepted. Some basic provisions of it were sounded in the speech of the Chinese President Hu Jintao at the forum opening . It allocated five main areas of strategic partnership between China and Africa. First, cooperation expansion in spheres of investments and accumulation of money for the purpose of assistance to Africa in achievement of a sustainable developmenut. Secondly, further increase in the help to Africa in order that all African people used results of development. Thirdly, support of integration processes in Africa and rendering help so as to increase African general ability to further development. Fourthly, friendship strengthening between the people of China and Africa to lay the strong social basis for their joint development. Fifthly, to assist a lasting peace and stability in Africa, to create the safe environment for the African development.
China’s interest in Africa, the results of cooperation urge developed countries to invest in Africa. The Chinese-African cooperation not only integrated the African continent into the globalization process, but also forced the world community to reconsider ways of assistance to Africa for the sake of access to its resources. Europe and the USA any more don’t perceive Africa as «a patient», but see in it a partner.
Certainly, Africa’s cooperation with China is not free from problems connected, first of all, with instability of African modes. China adheres to the principle of non-interference to internal affairs of the African countries, respect their sovereignty. However and here Beijing is acting pragmatically. Technocratic management of China realizes that absence of the state institutes effective and recognized by the maj ority in some African countries creates problems for modern business. China refused large investments in Zimbabwe, understanding that after aged Robert Mugabe’s death in the country there can come chaos. The Chinese government was deeply shocked with the crash of its Libyan ally M. Kaddafi in 2011 and arisen after that the need to rescue 30 thousand Chinese citizens from disorders. Keeping rhetoric of respect of the African sovereignty, China joins the international efforts on establishing order in the problem countries. It actively participates in peacekeeping missions in Africa. Thereby it exploits existing international architecture in its own interests. Besides, Beijing creates image of the great power, capable to assume the responsibilities that go with that status.
Certain discontent Africans is caused by lack of China’s interest to creation of enterprises of manufacturing industry. The rare exception is Sudan where with the Chinese help the industry of oil refining and production of cheap and simple products from plastic develops. Discontent is caused by weak attraction by the Chinese companies of local labor in the conditions of mass unemployment. Many construction projects are carried out with the minimum attraction of local labor- even drivers and unskilled workers are brought from China. Periodically there are disputes, concerning compensation of the attracted local people. The question of negative
Section 8. Political science
impact of some Chinese industrial projects on local ecology is increasingly raised.
Now in Africa there are about one million Chinese. Part from them remained in the African countries after end of j oint projects. This tendency amplified after 1985 when the Chinese emigration laws became less strict. The majority of them are small business owners, many of which are engaged in trade. In many African countries there are many shops in which the Chinese who are tolerably speaking local languages, trade in cheap goods of mass consumption made in China. Moreover, some Chinese manufacturers illicitly copy African designs, such as wax print textiles, and then produce them more cheaply for export back to Africa. Sometimes it is considered as an unfair competition and causes public indignation, as it was in Senegal and Malawi [10, 4].
Some Chinese traders use false companies to export illegally timber, diamonds, prized body parts of wild animals which was under the threat of disappearance. The traders from
Hong Kong moved into Africa as well. In recent years Triads stirred up the activity in Africa. They are engaged in stripping of the southern African coast of abolone (other name of these mollusks «sea ears»), in spark fin and a rhino horn trade, and also in people trafficking [10, 118].
All this has an adverse effect on the image of Chinese in Africa. In some countries there were anti-Chinese demonstrations. In Zambia the oppositional leader Michael Sata won the presidential election in 2011 largely due to anti-Chinese rhetoric. However these negative moments of the Chinese-African interaction are with interest compensated by its benefits for Africa. And not only material ones. The Chinese presence at Africa influences how the African countries build the relations with other partners. China paves the path for the countries trying to find their own ways and means for the development, want to assert itself on the international arena, while maintaining their independence and protecting their way of life in the world dominated by the West.
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