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Strauss, Julia (2019) 'Layered Rhetorics and Multiple Realities: China and Africa.' In: Hartmann, Christof and Noesselt, Nele, (eds.), China's New Role in African Politics: From Non-intervention towards Stabilization. London: Routledge.

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This chapter reflects on the ways in which China’s official rhetoric on its approach towards and activities in Africa have developed since the mid-1950s. It suggests that there are three different ‘layers’ to this rhetoric that broadly reflect three different periods of China’s own internal development and its understanding of its position in foreign affairs as well as a very new ‘outer wrapper’ in which Africa is folded into China’s much larger Belt and Road Initiative. The first, foundational layer stresses China’s strict adherence to non-interference and help for fraternal countries on the basis of self-reliance, the second the pursuit of comparative advantage in a globalized world of ‘win–win’ exchange, the third a softening of comparative advantage around the notion of ‘common development’ and the final Africa’s participation in China’s effort to bring infrastructure and connectivity to the rest of the globe. The chapter finds that even given the tensions and contradictions within these different layers, China seldom jettisons earlier iterations, and that the most important consumers of the official rhetoric are the enormously varied voices in Africa itself.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: China, Africa, development, rhetoric
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
ISBN: 9780429422393
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a chapter published by Taylor & Francis in China's New Role in African Politics: From Non-intervention towards Stabilization on 21 October 2019, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2019 08:18

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