African Venture of China: Déjà Vu? or The Soft Power of Words

Marianna Levtov


China has experienced rapid development in many different spheres, related to industrialisation, urbanisation, economic growth, finances, and a new strategy of foreign investment. During the past decade, Chinese direct investments in Sub-Saharan Africa have not only increased, but also played a crucial role within the hosting countries. International institutions repeatedly report on the considerable progress of African nations towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, despite challenging initial conditions. Chinese presence in the African hosting economies influences the inner processes and the way these goals could be achieved. There are different opinions on the future consequences of Chinese involvement in Africa. Some view the Chinese policy of non-interference and lack of preconditions for credit lines given to Africa as an effective model for cooperation with emerging markets and developing societies. Some critically predict the growing dependence on such an investor and are deeply unsatisfied with Chinese practices of winning tenders, treating employees and the environment. However, there is no univocal conclusion, whether these consequences could be doubtlessly defined as negative or positive.


Keywords: China, Africa, Soft Power, Development, Environment


Marianna Levtov, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Zurich Email:

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