Munich Personal RePEc Archive

China-Africa’s Emerging Economic Links: A review under the Core-Periphery perspective

Maswana, Jean-Claude (2007): China-Africa’s Emerging Economic Links: A review under the Core-Periphery perspective.

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Abstract

This essay has explored the validity of Marxist dependency theories in the context of the emerging China-Africa trade and economic relations. Whereas dependency theory assumes that economic domination runs across north-south geoeconomic patterns, this discussion has shown that the China-Africa economic links represent a distinct south-south dialectic occurring in an emerging new global economic configuration marked by a technology gap. Therefore, the discussion fails to support the idea that China’s involvement in Africa is of a conventional center-periphery type; which suggests the existence of nonexploitative, tough dependent, trade features. This dependence implies that external factors and decisions (included those related to China) also determine the real level of development in the Africa. Also worth mentioning is that for the first time Africa is drastically shifting its trade pattern away from its colonial framework: it too is becoming linked to a rapidly changing economy. Such a shift means that China’s own constant economic and social structural changes make it easy for Africa to adjust to the emerging new global economic order. At the same time, the China-Africa relationship is marked by unavoidable dialectic tensions like labor and competition issues. Even though synergies can be created by considering China’s legitimate interests in Africa and Africa’s own legitimate rights, no matter how well-intentioned China is, Africa must still generate its own technological capacities and rid itself of its legendary rampant corruption. Thus, both sides must admit that there will be no long-run benefit unless each contributes to the emergence of a new economic configuration that is deeply rooted not in mutual but in common or joint interests.

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