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China in Africa (African Arguments)

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ISBN-13: 978-1842778647
ISBN-10: 1842778641
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Editorial Reviews


'Chris Alden has written the first substantive book on China-Africa relations in three decades. Anyone wishing to understand the complexities of China's engagement with Africa must read this fine study.' - David Shambaugh, George Washington University & The Brookings Institution 'In the welter of badly-thought and badly-written work now being rushed into print on China in Africa, Chris Alden's book is an excellently-balanced and judicious exception.' - Stephen Chan, SOAS, University of London 'In this elegant and engaging study, Chris Alden brings together the key pieces that define the complex mosaic of China's recent engagement in Africa. Analytically sophisticated and drawing on an impressive vein of evidence, this book must be welcomed both as an illuminating account and for its measured judgment.' - Garth le Pere, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa 'In this short and readable book, Chris Alden provides a clear overview of China's involvement with Africa. It is a fascinating story, which will become more interesting and more important in the years to come'. The Economist 'The companion volume to Zed's "The United States in Africa".' - North South 'For me, the best and most coherent approach to the political economy of China in Africa is given by Chris Alden in his short engagingly written book...' - Review of African Political Economy. No. 115. 2008 'A useful analysis of China's increasing economic role in Africa.' - Chartist 'Alden's book answers the need for a measured review of China-Africa relations. Alden combines judicious analysis with a balanced, authoritative survey of the context and nature of current relations' 'Unlike those commentators who have rushed to pronounce and prescribe, he captures the rich potential and sense of dynamism that China has catalysed in Africa with a grounded appreciation of the challenges and constraints ... This is important' 'Alden's account is well-calibrated, especially when empirical research on "the content and context of Chinese involvement in Africa is desperately needed."' - TLS

About the Author

Chris Alden is a Senior Lecturer in the Deparment of International Relations at the LSE. He has researched and published on Asian-African relations for over fifteen years. He has previously taught at the University of Witwatersand, the University of Tokyo, the Ecole Normale Superieure and the University of Cambridge.


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Product Details

  • Series: African Arguments
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842778641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842778647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F. Birchmeier on September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a wealth of information concerning: China's new foreign policy towards Africa; the perceptions (both positive and negative) of the Africans towards the Chinese and their activities in the region; the current tendency of African nations to turn their support away from the U.S. and the West and towards China; and Western reactions to Chinese involvement in Africa.

This is a relatively short book (136 pages) that is easily read and understood. In my opinion it is very balanced in its presentation of the topic - not making a judgment of whether increased involvement in Africa by China is a positive or negative trend, but simply stating the facts as the author sees them.

Highly recommend this book for anyone looking for detailed information about China's increasing involvement in Africa.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vakunta on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nowhere in the world is China's economic presence more evident than on the continent of Africa. According to Chris Alden's projections, over 800 Chinese companies are doing business in 49 African countries, with 480 involved in joint ventures with African firms. Thousands of Chinese retail businesses are now strung across much of Africa, selling low-cost and low-value products made in China. Total trade between China and Africa stood at US$10 billion in 2000, rising to US$18 billion in 2003, and exceeding US$50 billion in 2006. From multi-billion dollar investments in oil and minerals to petty trade, china's economic leverage is redefining Africa's relations with the global community. Alden's 157-page well-written book--China in Africa--captures the emerging relationship between Africa and the nascent Asian economic superpower.

This engaging study seeks to determine whether the emerging relationship between China and Africa will be one of a development partner, economic competitor or new hegemon. He observes that underlying much of the existing analysis of China's new role in Africa, there are three schools of thought that could be summarized as follows: `China as developing partner', "China as economic competitor' and `China as colonizer'. The first interpretation (development partner) holds that China's involvement in Africa is part of a long-term strategic commitment to the continent, one that is driven mainly by its own economic needs. The second interpretation (economic competitor) holds that China is engaged in a short-term resource grab which takes little account of local needs. The third interpretation holds that China plans to colonize Africa.
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