ABSTRACT

From the 1955 Bandung Conference through subsequent global meetings, to recent events like the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summits, Chinese leaders have persistently declared their country’s position toward the developing world, and along an evolving Western-dominated global political economy. The words and sentiments expressed in most of these speeches often situate China in juxtaposition to the existing global powers, mostly in the West, and second, pivoted toward the developing world where it has some geopolitical recognition and relevance (Heginbotham & Eisenman, 2013; Dittmer & Yu, 2010). In the developing world, China’s history, and diplomatic and development objectives aligned with its Asian, Latin American, and African counterparts. In Africa, Beijing found the opportunity to foster ideological solidarity with countries on the continent, struggling for political self-determination from Western colonialists, and later, helped push back the dominance by the USA and the Soviet Union. Thus, China’s engagement in Africa post-1945 was mainly characterized by ideological diplomacy that also featured the supply of military and economic aid, along with high-profile visits by Chinese leaders to express solidarity with the anti-colonial struggles, until its recent resurgence on the continent, particularly at the turn of the millennium.