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China And Africa Trade Relations Essay

2263 words - 9 pages

Today’s world is shrinking. Not literally of course, but the advances in technology make it easy to span thousands of miles of land and sea, so people can immediately communicate with each other. The internet has connected the world instantly, and planes make traveling from one side of the world to the other a piece of cake compared to the long, dangerous sea voyages of the past. People move and migrate constantly, all the while exchanging ideas and goods. Trade has always played an important role in human history. Whether the swapping of an apple for an orange, or $12 million dollars for a new dam, the fluid movement of goods and services from one to another is how humans have been able to receive things they might not have had access to before. In the international community, trade is more important than ever, as it helps nations create camaraderie between each other, while simultaneously building their economies.
Due to this, Africa has felt a burgeoning hope. With the dawning of each new day, it sees a new future. They have decided to look towards the rising sun. They have decided to turn their attention to the East. They have decided to welcome trade with China. However, no one knows exactly what the future holds. This uncertainty mirrors that uncertainty of the partnership itself. Is this just China serving its own interests? Some believe China is engaging in a new type of colonialism, that they are exploiting Africa. Others fear that China’s support is regressing the progress other nations have made with African government and humanitarian issues. However, based on the business that these countries are already participating in, it is unlikely that China is so heavily invested in Africa solely for its own interests. This paper will look at a brief history between the two nations, discuss the impact of the Beijing Consensus, and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of exports and imports from each nation’s point of view.
While relations with China are not in themselves a recent phenomenon, the extensive amount of trade that the two partake in is. Actually, the affiliation between China and Africa stretches back centuries. Some scholars try to establish the starting point based on “the discovery of ancient Chinese ceramics on the east coast of Africa, or to the trading ties begun under the Song dynasty” (Raine 13). Trying to trace ties back this far is important in increasing a sense of loyalty. After all, people tend to have stronger feelings of fidelity towards someone they have known for years, as compared to someone they have just met. Another frequently cited encounter is when the Chinese explorer Zheng He “reached the east coast of Africa where…Zheng came, saw and never conquered…[leaving only a legacy] of trade, stimulating a local market for Chinese silk and porcelain” (Raine 13). This incident is important in further establishing solidarity between the two nations. China refers to this history to prove...

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