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  • on 27.11.2015
  • at 04:08 PM
  • by Kimberley Evans

Is one continent, one country a viable strategy for Africa-China relations? 0

Three top executives of state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation Limited were fatally shot in the Radisson Bleu Hotel Attacks in Bamako. The victims add to a worrisome set of attacks involving Chinese nationals abroad. Interestingly, a preliminary studypoints that over half of these attacks occur across Africa with South Africa topping the list.  It is also South Africa that will host the Forum of China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) this December where talks about closer security cooperation between China and African states are on the agenda.

FOCAC is China’s main multilateral platform of cooperation with African states. This will be the sixth edition of the Forum, held successfully every three years for the last fifteen years and alternating between China as a host and an African country (2003 in Ethiopia, 2006 in China, 2009 in Egypt, and 2012 in China). In December, over fifty state and government leaders are expected at the forum in Johannesburg.

Despite the fact that official relations between PRC and South Africa were established as late as 1998, China became South Africa’s largest trading partner, and South Africa is home to one of the continent’s oldest Chinese communities. The two countries enjoy strong relations and South Africa’s strategic and geopolitical position as the gate to Africa’s market and as a BRICS member make it the best fit to host this summit.

This summit will also be the first one under Xi Jinping’s presidency, and will take place amidst an environment where Chinese foreign policy is focusing attention to regional integration by advancing the “New Silk Road Initiative.” This initiative, also known as the “One Belt One Road,” is a platform for enhancing China’s regional trade relations. It connects China to Central Asia, Russia, and parts of Europe, effectively shifting quite a bit of attention and investments away from China-Africa.

Continue reading on Africasacountry

by Lina Benabdallah

Photo credits: Government of South Africa

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