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China-Africa and an Economic Transformation$

Arkebe Oqubay and Justin Yifu Lin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830504.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2020

The Future of China–Africa Economic Ties

The Future of China–Africa Economic Ties

New Trajectory and Possibilities

(p.310) Chapter 15 The Future of China–Africa Economic Ties
China-Africa and an Economic Transformation

Arkebe Oqubay

Justin Yifu Lin

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter pulls together the underlying themes, analytical perspectives, and pathways to Africa’s economic transformation, and the catalytic role of Chinese investment and trade for Africa’s industrialization and long-term growth. It also reviews FOCAC VII (September 2018) as signalling latest directions in China–Africa economic ties for the coming years. Economic ties between China and Africa have made a significant contribution to the economic transformation of Africa; however, the outcomes of these engagements are characterized by unevenness and shifting dynamics across different countries. Hence there is a need for evidence-based productive discourse that puts Africa’s transformation at the heart of the dialogue on China–Africa economic ties in the context of a changing international environment. Variations in proactive strategic approach, policy ownership, and implementation capacity are major drivers of this disparity. This chapter highlights China as a source of learning and argues that deepening the economic ties (Chinese FDI towards building productive capacity, trade imbalances, debt sustainability and alternative mechanisms, and strengthening of FOCAC) can have an important role in the economic transformation of Africa.

Keywords:   China–Africa, economic transformation, FOCAC, strategic approach, mutual learning, policy ownership

The research and publication of China–Africa and an Economic Transformation was concluded at an important historical moment shortly after the 2018 China–Africa Summit (FOCAC VII) held in Beijing in September 2018, making the volume relevant and timely. During the Summit, the Chinese government announced new initiatives that are informed by a thorough review of FOCAC accomplishments and gaps since its inception in 2000, the lessons learned in promoting China–Africa economic ties, emerging new possibilities due to China’s economic rebalancing, and Africa’s own changing conditions in the global political economy (Xi, 2018). The volume editors hope to have contributed to a better understanding of the dynamically evolving economic ties between China and Africa, and the implications for African economic transformations.

The concluding chapter does not aim to summarize the various chapters in the volume. Its purpose, rather, is to highlight the common themes that cut across the volume, and to discuss the strategic implication of the FOCAC VII outcome document which outlined new directions and frameworks for strengthening China–Africa economic ties over the coming decades. The chapter concludes by highlighting key insights on how African countries can strategically engage China for greater economic benefit.1 (p.311)

15.1 Countering ‘Anti-Chinese’ Narratives: Let the Facts Speak

The myth that has surrounded China–Africa cooperation for almost three decades has intensified and today has reached extreme levels. ‘New colonialism’ has become a catchphrase used, especially by Western media, to define the nature of the relationship. For example, a recent article in the Financial Times headlined ‘China Model Is Failing Africa’ predicted that ‘after more than a decade of vaulting growth in trade, finance and investment, China’s weighty engagement is jeopardising future development prospects in Africa…The fanfare of next week’s forum is likely to be short-lived––the China model is failing Africa’ (Financial Times, 2018).2 In a speech at the African Union on 8 March 2018, former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, ‘We think it’s important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those investments, and we witness the model that the Chinese follow. They do not bring significant job creation locally; they don’t bring significant training programs that enable African citizens to participate more fully in the future; and oftentimes, the financing models are structured in a way that the country, when it gets into trouble financially, loses control of its own infrastructure or its own resources through default’ (Tillerson, 2018).

Several African leaders have rejected the charge of ‘Chinese colonialism’ or ‘imperialism’ and vehemently defended China’s positive role in Africa’s economic transformation.3 Given the violent nature of ‘real’ colonialism, the use of this term to characterize the current dynamics is insulting. Likewise, Chinese leaders were explicit and bold in pronouncing China’s ‘five-no’ approach, which is to be adhered to by other countries as well:

We respect Africa, love Africa and support Africa. We follow a ‘five-no’ approach in our relations with Africa: no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interferences in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of our will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa. We hope this ‘five-no’ could apply to other countries as they deal with Africa…Ultimately, it is for the peoples of China and Africa to judge the performance of China–Africa cooperation.

(Xi, 2018, authors’ emphasis)

Between 2015 and 2018, the Chinese government organized numerous conferences and workshops, and deployed multiple think tanks that focused on studying the economic ties, constraints, and ways of exploring and improving (p.312) the partnership. It was evident that China–Africa relations were based on well-informed, evidence-based decisions and new learning.

Contrary to polemical and sensational assertions and stories that focus on ‘China in Africa’ narratives, there is an increasing number of empirically grounded studies that focus on China–Africa economic ties, and on Africa’s political economy and its structural transformation (for instance see, among others, Alden and Large, 2018; Brautigam, 2009, 2015; Cheru and Obi, 2010; China Africa Research Initiative, 2018; Lee, 2017).4 Brautigam’s works debunked the myth around the Chinese in Africa and in Africa’s agriculture. Anchored in comparative ethnography, Lee (2017) has brought novel insights that show ‘the unique nature of Chinese investment in Africa’, the diverse nature of investments from China, and how Chinese state investment is distinct from global private investment.5 Such studies, while dispelling conventional misperceptions, may open up new avenues of research and inform the policymaking of African countries and China.

15.2 Unevenness, Diversity, and Shifting Dynamics

A major theme that has emerged in this volume is that China–Africa economic ties are neither static nor uniform. The primary nature of the partnership is that it exhibits unevenness, diversity, and dynamic shifts over time. Understanding the nature of the multifaceted relationship requires appreciation of the current international context and evolving international order. It also requires deeper analysis of the contemporary trajectories of China and individual African countries (rather than ‘Africa’ as a whole) in their integration in this global order. The evolving global division of labour and power has far-reaching implications for the trajectory of African development.

At a time when global commitment to multilateralism is declining, and unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise, China has emerged as one of the leading countries advocating greater rule-based multilateralism, and (p.313) globalization and integration. President Xi Jinping’s new leadership has played a more assertive role globally and geopolitically. President Xi has also become an advocate of globalization and multilateralism (Cornelissen, Cheru, and Shaw 2015; Shambaugh, 2013).6 China also increased its economic internationalization strategy, with ‘Going Global’ and the Belt and Road Initiative bringing new dynamism to its historical relationship with Africa.7 This process embodies the unfolding global division of labour and power (GDLP), and power asymmetry (Fröbel, 2009; Mittelman, 2011). The rise of China and the expanding China–Africa economic ties cannot be comprehended out of this context.

In addition to the global power structure, it is important to understand not only the implications for Africa of China’s rise as a global economic power, but also the history and the complex changes and processes in Chinese domestic politics (Yueh, 2013). As Chapters 4, 5, and 6 show, China’s policies have been shifting with the changes in dynamics of domestic politics. Mao’s policy towards Africa (in the 1960s and 1970s) was predominantly shaped by China’s role in the non-aligned movement and support for anti-colonial liberation struggles. After the 1980s, consideration of economic complementarity and market economy reflected the transformation ushered in by the then ‘opening and reform’ (Lin, 2011). After the 1990s, the initial experimentation of ‘Going Global’ reflected new strategy and self-confidence, and a new Chinese approach to policymaking. Furthermore, Chinese policy thinking mirrors its long history, experiences, and Confucian culture, as past history and culture are a social fabric that will help to predict a more likely behaviour. Chinese nationalism has played an important role as a vehicle for the ‘Chinese Dream’. The unforgettable memories of colonial domination by Western and Japanese imperialism have in particular shaped Chinese nationalism and the determination to defend Chinese sovereignty and the right to determine China’s own development path autonomously (Chow, 2007; Nayyar, 2016; Nolan, 2016).8 Considering this history, China is less likely to be associated with predatory and ‘new’ colonial power and more likely to associate itself with other developing countries.9 (p.314)

15.3 Bringing in Africa’s Economic Transformation

A central theme of this volume is the structural transformation of African economies and the perspective that China–Africa economic ties should be examined through the lens of structural transformation and their catalytic effect on Africa’s economic transformation measured. The definition provided by Ocampo, Rada, and Taylor (2009: 7), conceptualizing structural transformation as central to economic development, looks a more plausible conceptual alternative within the context of this volume:

Economic development is a process of structural transformation. Structural transformation is associated with…the composition of production activities, the associated patterns of specialization in international trade, the technological capabilities of the economy, including the educational level of the labour force, the structure of ownership of factors of production, the nature and development of basic state institutions, and the degree of development and constraints under which certain markets operate…the reallocation of productive factors from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture, industry and services…shifting resources from low-to-high productivity sectors…a capacity to diversify domestic production structure: that is, to generate new activities, to strengthen economic linkages within a country and to create domestic technological capabilities.

In applying a structural transformation perspective, it is important to focus on the process of economic diversification, the development of technological capabilities, and the promotion of domestic linkages, with a policy focus that gives prominence and centrality to the development of the manufacturing sector, the vitality of exports and international learning, and the modernization of agriculture.

The overall conclusion of this volume is that, while African countries have benefited greatly from their engagement with China, they are far from achieving industrialization and structural transformation. The economic ties between China and Africa have largely been asymmetrical. This is expressed in multiple ways.

First, the catalytic effect of Chinese economic engagement with Africa, despite the positive developments, has been uneven across countries.

Second, countries that have benefited most from China–Africa economic cooperation demonstrate the proactive policy of the government as well as the extensive room for improvement that is available. The key driver for variation of outcomes is a strategic approach and policy ownership by the host African country.

Third, there is considerable room for enhanced China–Africa economic ties in the years ahead, and both partners must address some issues to create conditions conducive to ‘win–win’ outcomes. These include: persistent trade (p.315) imbalances; excessive debt burden and finance sustainability; selective targeting on quality and appropriate FDI and productive capacity; the potential to expand knowledge transfer and local content through Chinese FDI; lagging business climate; narrowing knowledge and cultural gaps; and transforming FOCAC into a more effective platform and institution.10

The FOCAC VII Summit has made significant progress in addressing the constraints and weaknesses in China–Africa economic partnerships in terms of their increasing alignment towards the economic transformation of Africa. The matrix in Table 15.1 provides strategic responses that may help to improve the alignment of China’s eight initiatives for Africa’s economic transformation.

Table 15.1. Strategic approach by African countries to FOCAC VII initiatives (2018–21)

Strategic cooperation areas

Chinese 8 initiatives (2018–21)

Strategic implication for African governments

FDI and productive capacity

Industrial promotion initiative (1): Increase investment in Africa; upgrade economic and trade cooperation zones; support modernization of Africa’s agriculture; China–Africa Development Fund; Special Loan for Development of African SMEs

• Develop development strategy with a focus on industrialization and structural transformation

• Develop coherent industrial policies (with a focus on manufactured exports, in sectors with scope for learning, dynamic linkages, stimulate domestic learning)

• Develop manufacturing clusters in SEZs based on productive criteria

• Design targeted investment promotion package on selectivity, single window, appropriate incentive structure and performance requirements of FDI

• Promote research on industrial policy and hubs development

• Enhance coordination among government agencies and dialogue with investorsa

Trade and exports

Trade facilitation initiative (3): Increase imports, particularly non-resource products from Africa; trade facilitation schemes; support African Continental Free Trade Area; promote e-commerce cooperation; local currency settlement; support trade exposb

• Modernization of transport and logistics industry, and regional connectivity

• Reform banking and customs system, enhance harmonization and automation

• Surveillance of products to be exported to China and focus on value addition

• Ensure lead agency is strengthened and requirements are monitored

• Central banks institutionalize currency settlement schemes

• Critically review bilateral trade negotiations

Financing and infrastructure development

Infrastructure connectivity initiative (2):c Formulate China–Africa infrastructure development on energy, transport, ICT; support Single African Air Transport Market; expand China–Africa air connectivity; new models of infrastructure financing; promote bond issuance by African countries; access to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund;

• Develop infrastructure development strategy and master plans (>10 years) with key priority given to utilities critical for manufacturing and exports (such as energy, industrial infrastructure, and transport)

• Capacity building of focal agencies and enhanced coordination

• Robust procurement process, project management, and contract administration

• Avoid the pitfall of neglecting the operation and management of infrastructure

• Know-how transfer, skill formation, boosting local content, links with local firms

• Use alternative financing schemes, and debt sustainability as critical concerns

• Environmental sustainability consideration

Sustainability and environment

Green development initiative (5): Low-carbon, circular economy and sustainable development; fifty green projects; policy dialogue, exchanges, and research

• Develop green economy strategy (industrialization, infrastructure development, climate-resilient agriculture) and focal agencies

• Develop focal agencies, introduce and enforce laws

• Education and awareness campaigns

Human capital and capacity building

Capacity-building initiative (6): Support in development planning and experience sharing; innovation cooperation centres; 1,000 innovators exchange; 50,000 scholarships

• Develop the capacity to manage these initiatives and selection transparency

• Define the required skills in view of the focused industries and knowledge

• Support with research on skills formation and demand

• Focus on ensuring trained experts are deployed in key priorities

• Enhance twining among learning institutions and staff exchanges

Health care

Health care initiative (6): African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; hospitals; campaigns on HIV-AIDS, malaria, communicable diseases

• Develop health care strategy

• Focus on capacity building and healthcare systems

• Develop pharmaceutical industry (where viable economically)


People-to-people exchange initiative (7): Institute of African Studies; joint research; people-to-people exchange; expand Confucius institutes; promote African tourism

• Promote new think tanks and research

• Use research input in reviewing process and outcome, and setting priorities

• Develop aviation hub (such as Ethiopia) to build on their competitive advantage

• Develop tourism strategy with Chinese tourists in mind (requires distinct approach)

Security and stability

Peace and security initiative (8): Pursuing peace and development; scale up UN peace-keeping role; fight piracy and terrorism (Gulf of Aden and Guinea, Sahel); joint security forum

• Tap into training opportunities and experience sharing in peace-keeping operations

• Enhance intelligence capacity and coordination for synergy

• Strengthen sub-regional organizations (IGAD, SADC, etc.)


Total of US$60 billion financial resources: Government assistance, investment and financing by financial institutions and firms: US$15 billion grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans; US$20 billion of credit lines; US$10 billion special fund for development financing; US$5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa; US$10 billion investment by Chinese firms; cancellation of interest-free Chinese government loans of LDCs and landlocked and small islands

• The prime focus should be developing relevant strategies and policies to ensure economic transformation, focus on capacity building and building key institutions, support with research, and enhance joint effort among African countries and through the AU. Promoting mutual learning is critical

• Build capacity within ministries of finance, national planning agencies, agencies responsible for infrastructure planning, development and operation, and the development of skilled human resource.

• Focus on experience and know-how transfer between China and Africa, mutual learning and experience sharing among African countries, tap into technical support from international organizations

• Enhance research to study ways of improvement

International order and governance

Multi-polarity; economic globalization; participative global governance; uphold international order; boost regional and international coordination

• Enhance joint and coordinated efforts to change international governance systems

• Strengthen the AU as strategic institution and regional organizations

• Close coordination with UN agencies such as UNECA, UNCTAD

• Strengthen South–South cooperation

• Engage international organizations and economic ties with other advanced and emerging economies

Cooperation principles and new ideas

Strengthen comprehensive, strategic, cooperative partnership; mutual learning; ‘five-no’ approach; complementarity; people-oriented approach; improve institution building; develop new ideas; expand cooperation areas; China–Africa community; shared future; co-existence of civilizations

• Design comprehensive strategic approach to China–Africa economic ties

• Maximize efforts to be a proactive and vigilant partner

• Conduct relevant research

• Policy learning as central in the cooperation

• Deepen knowledge about China (policymaking, dynamics, etc.)

Notes: The key challenges are uneven political will, the presence of policies and strategies, and implementation capacity.

(a) See Lin and Zhang (2019) on a review and new survey on inducement of Chinese investors in light manufacturing.

(b) See Reuters (2018) reaction by the US Treasury Department’s response to local currency settlement. Billingslear noted that ‘it is of something of great concern to us as well’.

(c) See also Brautigam (2018) on a review of financial flow related to FOCAC VII.

Source: Authors’ own compilation and summary (2018).

15.4 Strategic Approach to China–Africa Economic Ties: the Way Forward

As China undergoes major economic rebalancing to enter the fourth industrial revolution and upgrade to an innovation-driven economy, this is bound to affect China–Africa relations in multiple ways, offering both opportunities and challenges (see Chapters 2 and 3). For example, China’s new internationalization strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative, is a strategic initiative that covers not only Africa, but other continents, and represents China’s ‘Going Global’ strategy and the potential to attract FDI in light manufacturing. Reaping the opportunities offered by China’s economic rebalancing and the ‘Going Out’ of Chinese enterprises will primarily depend on the capacity of African actors to make the most of these opportunities.11 Considering China’s global ambitions, African policymakers need to understand the contributions as well as the limitations of economic ties with China in a rapidly changing context. There are instructive lessons from China’s rapid rise that are relevant for African countries.

15.4.1 China as a Source of Learning: Writing their Own Script

China has lifted more than 700 million people who had been living below the poverty line and has successfully climbed the ladder of industrialization, emerging as the largest exporter and the second-largest economy in the course of a generation.12 These lessons are important not only for Africa but for other (p.316) (p.317) (p.318) developing countries and emerging economies. China has successfully inserted itself into the international market and leveraged FDI to develop domestic firms.13 Rodrik (2012: 153) states: ‘China’s ability to shield itself from the global economy proved critical…In sum, Chinese policymakers maintained their manoeuvring space and exploited it skilfully.’14 Mittelman probes, ‘how can a developing country capture the advantages of globalization?’ (2006: 377). He adds:

Largely overlooked in this search for a key is the range of China’s internal debates. This creative dialogue could help overcome the despair of antidevelopment, a multipronged attack on the whole developmentalist paradigm…It is a compelling case of a home-grown strategy of transformation, hope and self-confidence, and a large measure of self-determination. In other contexts, the Chinese narrative (p.319) prompts the question of how to write a fresh script for development within the compass of neoliberal globalization.

(Mittelman, 2006)

Indeed, the most important lesson has been China’s homegrown strategy (not a prescription by others) of transformation, policy learning (such as ‘finding truth from facts’, and policy experiment or ‘feeling the stones to cross the river’), self-confidence, and its choice of its own development path. Xiaoping (1994: 137) highlights that ‘the special economic zones are an experiment…Our entire policy of opening to the outside is an experiment too.’15 This continues to be the core belief in the development thinking of its present leaders: ‘China’s affairs must be handled in accordance with Chinese national conditions and reality. This is the only correct way to address all our problems’ (Xi, 2017: 13). Opening to the outside world or building special economic zones, building national champions, and education were strategies aimed at speeding up technological transformation (Xiaoping, 1994: 43, 61; Lanqing, 2011).16 From this perspective there is no such thing as the Chinese model to be copied by Africans. In sum, African leaders should aim to be a strategic partner and driver of the partnership.

15.4.2 Prioritizing and Focusing on Productive Investment

Financial resources and infrastructure development are two facets that dominate the China–Africa narrative and debate. From the perspective of structural transformation of Africa, investment in productive capacity—economic infrastructure in particular—has significant spillover effects in accelerating industrialization and modernization of agriculture, building technological capabilities and domestic linkages, boosting exports to improve the imbalances in trade terms, and debt servicing (CNN, 2018). The development of human capital and infrastructure, electricity and transport in particular, should be geared towards developing productive capacity and leveraging optimum returns. Another fundamental issue related to policy learning is that African policymakers and scholars may overlook China as a source of learning or may fail to follow a systematic learning approach (Oqubay, 2015; Oqubay and Ohno, 2019; Oqubay and Tesfachew, 2019).

(p.320) 15.5 Policy Autonomy and Being in the Driving Seat

A strategic approach to China–Africa economic ties implies that African countries have development strategies, industrial policies, and long-term indicative plans which need to be aligned to ongoing China–Africa initiatives and long-term structural transformation frameworks (UNECA, 2016).17 This is a dynamic process that enforces learning and continuously nurtures partnerships. In addition to this, African policymakers should understand the initiatives, and design new programmes to maximize them and to bring in new ideas to further improve the process. Learning among African countries is vital in itself and such mutual learning could reinforce the strategic nature and complementarity of China–Africa relations. This should be supported by evidence-based research to feed into policymaking.

African policymakers also need to engage other emerging and advanced economies and ‘traditional’ partners to accelerate structural transformation. Better coordination and synergy among partners will result in better outcomes. In this respect, the focus should not be limited to financial resources but more importantly should include promoting FDI inflow and promoting exports. Knowledge transfer and experience sharing need to be given more strategic importance. The guiding principle should therefore be to sit in the ‘driving seat’ and ensure policy independence. Joint efforts should be increased that seek to change global governance to ensure Africa receives better benefits and leverages.

15.5.1 Investing in Innovation, Research, and Development

A fad of the day among some international figures and influential scholars is that African countries should abdicate policy that focuses on manufacturing because of saturating international export markets, the competition posed by the rise of China, and rapid technological development (robotization and artificial intelligence), as manufacturing will not be a growth driver. The reality is that the special properties of manufacturing are still robust and valid for the twenty-first century, and accelerated technological advancement implies that industrial policies should focus on fostering technological learning.18 Yülek (2018) highlights that manufacturing is ‘the hotbed of technology, productivity, and innovation’, which continues to be the engine of growth, and export-led growth is stellar for industrial policy in (p.321) the twenty-first century.19 Much of the expansion of modern services also depends on manufacturing development. African countries should embrace industrialization and industrial policy to generate employment, promote exports, develop technological capabilities, and speed up economic transformation. This has to be supported with human capital development and infrastructure development directed at accelerating economic transformation. From this perspective, not many African countries have succeeded in leveraging China–Africa economic ties to foster industrialization and structural transformation.

15.5.2 Mapping out a New Research Agenda

While research on China–Africa relations has expanded over the past decade, huge gaps remain on a several critical themes. Among the gaps that merit further investigation is fostering technological learning between universities in China and Africa. While there is a robust flow of African students to China and numerous workshops for training, substantial programmes for joint basic and applied research with spillovers to industry do not exist to date. A shift in approach and urgent action is necessary to connect knowledge institutions such as universities and research entities to industries and firms in Africa, and to intensify capacity building in universities and in local firms. Second, as China prepares to enter the fourth industrial revolution and prepare the groundwork to become an innovation-driven economy, there is a need to probe the implications of digital technology, artificial intelligence, and the reach of algorithms for the future of China–Africa economic ties. Besides the economic consequences of digital technology and artificial intelligence, research is needed on modalities of governance and regulations to be adopted to pre-empt the harms and ethical abuses of technological innovation, as with robotics and automation, encountered in other parts of the world.


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(1) The authors thank Fantu Cheru, James Mittelman, Scarlett Cornelissen, Mohamed Salih, Linda Yueh, Ian Taylor, Carlos Oya, Daniel Poon, and Dirk Willem for their suggestions and inputs. Their comments as well as the discussion during the Addis Ababa workshop on 30–31 August 2018 have been valuable. We are also grateful for copyedits by Deborah Kefale and Binyam Arkebe.

(4) Alden and Large refreshingly review questions of how Africa–China is being studied and on new directions for future studies (Alden and Large, 2018). They highlight that the current literature has been narrowly limited to assessing China in Africa, China–Africa, or China and Africa rather than all-encompassing (epistemology, theory, and method) in-depth research studies of ‘field of power embedded in deeper, historically produced questions about African studies’.

(5) Lee (2017) highlights that Chinese state capital is characterized by its own ‘logic of accumulation, regimes of labour, ethos of management’, with uneven capacity and uncertain outcomes across different industrial sectors and countries or regions. According to Lee (2017) the major imbalances shaping Chinese investment are ‘overcapacity, falling profit rates, underconsumption, shrinking demand from traditional export markets, and scarcity of strategic resources’.

(6) Shambaugh (2013) highlights China’s ‘partial power’ in view of China’s expanding economic might, trading dominance, growing military power, diplomatic dominance, and increasing ‘soft power’ (despite the relative lag in its ‘soft power’ to become ‘partial power’).

(7) It is less clear how the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and FOCAC intersect.

(8) Nolan (2016: 3–4) highlights: ‘For over 2,000 years from the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) through to the late eighteenth century, China was the most economically and technologically advanced part of the world…Many of the key technologies of the Industrial Revolution had their origin in China.’

(9) Yueh (see Chapter 2) highlights that China is the first developing country to become a global economic power.

(10) See Altman (2018) on imbalances of China–Africa trade. See also Taylor (2009), and Cheng and Taylor (2017) on Chinese new role in African and Chinese aid.

(11) See also Lin and Monga (2017, 2019) on Africa’s structural transformation.

(12) The volume editors note the analytical danger of an over-simplistic view that looks at the Washington Consensus versus a Beijing consensus. The Washington Consensus is a term coined to capture neoliberal thinking and IFIs prescription, while the Beijing consensus is a loosely defined term that will not help to understand the nature of China–Africa economic ties.

(13) Akyüz (2017) highlights China as an example of managing FDI for structural transformation by increasing domestic value-added content and forcing joint ventures (in exchange for accessing China’s domestic market). See Akyüz (2017) who argues that developing and emerging economies should ‘identify correctly the capabilities of foreign firms, the channels through which they could stimulate growth and structural change, and the policies needed to deploy them’.

(14) Kozul-Wright (2018) highlights, ‘China has drawn from the same standard playbook that developed countries used when they climbed the economic ladder.’

(15) See also Langqing (2011) on Chinese characteristics of reform and opening.

(16) Xiaoping (1994: 269) who highlights, ‘from a long-term point of view, we should pay attention to education and science and technology’ and adds (1994: 43) ‘We should open our country wider to the outside world…so as to speed up our technological transformation…It is a matter of strategic importance.’ See also Nolan (2014) on China’s industrial policy on building national champions and the active role of the state. See also Chu (2019) on the role of the state and industrial policies.

(17) Although Agenda 2063 is important, what matters most is the national development strategies and industrial policies of respective countries. Action will depend on the development direction and trajectory of each country.

(18) On special properties of manufacturing and the strategic role of exports, see Kaldor (1967) and Thirlwall (2013).

(19) See also Lee (2019) on the importance of innovation and absorptive capacity.