China in Africa: bracketing human rights?

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Mersch, Celine Zaza
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The rise of China, as a great economic power, is nowhere as evident as on the African continent. For Africa, China has been a trading partner, a donor, a builder and an investor. While African governments perceive China’s emergence as a welcome alternative to Western policies, the West sees its engagement as a threat to the advancement of good governance and human rights. This thesis will focus on analysing China’s engagement in Africa and the thereto-linked implications for human rights. Following a review of the evolution of Sino-African relations and its African policy, the study sets out to examine China’s response to Western criticism and expectations. It finds that China has acknowledged its international responsibility as global player and taken the first steps to review and adapt its Africa strategy in some sectors towards integrating a more people-to-people approach. Nevertheless, stronger coordination and cooperation on the implementation and promotion of human rights and other standards between Africa, China and the West remain crucial in order to improve progressive development in Africa. As in future China’s involvement is likely to further expand, all stakeholders must ensure that this relationship will bring positive benefit to the people of Africa.
Second semester University: University College Dublin
commerce, Africa, China, foreign economic relations, human rights