Analysis of the Effect of U.S.-China’s New Engagement In Africa

By: Josephus Moses Gray

J. Moses Gray

Troublingly, it is too late for the world to turn a blind eye to the current raging friction between the world’s most two economic powers-US and China. Already, the row has developed into a trade war with each lapping one another with tariff to the dismay and chilling pleasure of global economy. Amidst wailing concern, this chapter among others, mainly compares the new dimension of China-U.S. engagement in Africa and goes further to discuss in detailed the two global economic powers impact in the African continent.   While some of the concerns cannot be ignored, this chapter’s discussion includes: China’s engagement with African governments and states, and U.S. impact on Africa’s development. Moving the discussion further, this chapter looks the effects for America, China and Africa exploration, development paths and experience.; authored by Josephus Moses Gray.

The research study also discussed the effects of America’s contemporary foreign policy towards African governments and interestingly, this chapter argues if Africa riches are blessing or curse of corruption and miserable poverty,  Africans perceptions towards U.S. and China’s engagement in Africa, Political and economic implication of  U.S. and China’s extraction of Africa’s resources. On the other hand, its debates the advantages and disadvantages of Africa relations with China and U.S., the current state of Africa’s development in the content of AU’s agenda 20163 and concludes with ccontextualizing Africa’s new role in global politics.

This work also discussed the United States and China’s direct investment to African governments and states, and goes further to present some accurate data regarding both countries foreign aid and engagement in Africa. While it is true that U.S. and China’s engagement in Africa has advanced the continent’s growth rate but has also created substantial disagreement. China’s attraction to resource-rich countries is no different from western investment or the U.S. interest in Africa.

Effect of U.S., China’s Engagement in Africa

In the contemporary international sphere power politics is mainly being driven by realism, although there is always conflict with liberalism which sees power from a contrary view. These two theories usually swayed world leaders in the areas of globalist and nationalist, depend on the prevailing situation that involves a state’s national interest. But, this work considers mostly structural realism which suggests that countries formed a structure by their interactions and then being strongly affected by the structure of their interactions.

Waltz (2003) indicated that in line with structural realism, balance of power and lobby are the two main strategies that states use for protecting themselves and for interacting with other states and that the choice of one of these strategies is directly influenced by the international structure. According to realism, the possibilities of an alliance forming are related to major powers in international politics while minor powers are only able to form coalition mainly to balance the rising power or to lobby with the recognized influential states.

This study is very essential as it delved into triangular relations of the Republic of Liberia, the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, especially when both the U.S. and China are caught in a deadlock of a trade war.  The question is can African take advantage of the trade war and maximizes its relations with both countries, and what does African need to do?

The Chinese ties with African countries cannot be analyzed without the United States of America being brought into the debate as an overbearing variable regarding the bond of friendship and cooperation.  China has a major diplomatic presence in Africa. In fact, Beijing is more widely represented in Africa with missions on the ground than in the United States. Beijing, which has diplomatic relations with Fifty-one continent’s fifty-three countries, maintains an embassy with an accredited ambassador in 48 of them. China maintains offices of a commercial counselor in 40 of those countries and seven consulates-general in five of them.

The phenomena of the People’s Republic of China and the United States in the global arena are quite significant and it presents opportunities and challenges for post-war Liberia’s development. But what is the ultimate push behind Beijing and Washington’s new ties with Liberia and the impact of Beijing and Washington’s foreign aid assistance towards Africa’s poorest states including Liberia?  But the new level of Beijing’s influence has ignited political competition between China and the United States. China views development and foreign aid as practical policy instruments to promote relations, friendship, and economic cooperation, while the U.S. attaches clearly stated goals, stringent conditions, and strict criteria for its development programs.

Therefore, considering the balance of power approach, Liberia, U.S. and China triangular relations placed the Liberia-state in a positive position to singly lobby with both America and China’s coalition. What needed is to balance the equation with both states, while at the same time benefit from the African Union bloc interactions with the U.S. and China friendship.

Similarly, the colorful Africa-U.S. ties on one hand and amazing China- African bond of exceptional friendship would be fractional if one does not take into consideration both states’ engagement with Africa’s entire five regions and 55 states. It is against this backdrop that this article provides a vivid picture of Liberia, U.S. and China’s triangular relations, a detailing of the three countries’ long-standing bilateral relations and its socioeconomic and development impacts.

The three countries are known to be democratic states but run different forms of governments- both Liberia and the United States run a presidential system of government, while China, although democratic, runs a socialist form of government.  The United States and China have been chosen because they are stable, are the world’s economic powers, actively engaged in Africa and deemed as democratic nations.  These countries have been selected, as they depict and reflect an alteration in governance, resources and economic powers.

Ellis (2012) criticizes the “triangle” concept on grounds that it does not consider other important actors in the international sphere; it treats Africa as a unitary actor. The triangular relations approach also offers a comprehensive analysis of complex interactions among the three states involved, therefore the study brings a focused approach to three countries’ relations by assessing impact, challenges and implications for Liberia.  The work considered triangular relationships in a plural, nonexclusive style, considering a subcategory of the numerous imaginable triangular relationships that hypothetically exist, without suggesting that the relations of Africa.

Since there are three sides interacting, the conduct of their apparent bilateral relations produces almost simultaneous effects among the three states. it is against this background that Liberia, the first independent state in African is brought into the narrative as the basis of this work since Liberia was founded by freed slaves from America-the American Colonization Society (ACS) in 1847, while Liberia and China to some extent share similar historical experience having suffered imperialism.  Therefore, significant effort has been devoted to evaluate the triangular relations involved Liberia, particularly Africa, U.S., and China. Even though there have been several publications, there is no such study regarding Liberia, U.S. and China’s triangular relations and its impact. Therefore, the author deems it very appropriate that the ties are put under investigation to contextualize the framework of triangular relations, as the basis to present informed conclusions.

It is appropriate because the United States and China’s relationship with Liberia is amazing and projects the much anticipated social, political, economic and culture dividends, while at the same time it also has the consequence in the context of gaps. China and U.S’s triangular relations with Liberia and engagement with African states and governments is an opportunity since the two states engaging in several projects, foreign aid assistance, and other supports.  One can argue that the prevailing political engagements and contacts between China and the African states, and the interactions with the U.S, on the other hand, present an opportunity that needs, with Africa suited at the middle of the power politics and completion (MOFA, 2014). Both U.S. and China need Africa, while Africa also needs China and U.S., especially considering both countries’ dynamics role in global politics and their economic influence.

Chinese Embassy(2017), China’s GDP per capita had raised to US$9,732 by the end of 2018, from around US$54 in 195, a 180-fold increase. China was probably one of the world’s poorest countries at the time. During the same period, US GDP per capita increased from US$2,349, or 44 times China’s, to US$62,606, just 6.4 times. In terms of its share of global GDP, China’s economy now makes up 16 percent of the world’s total, from a mere 1.8 percent in 1952. Additionally, China’s population has grown from 575 million in 1952 to nearly 1.4 billion at the end of 2018, an increase of 140 percent in 66 years.

China has gone from being a predominantly agricultural economy to the world’s factory and beyond, with 27 percent of global manufacturing value,. In 1952, a large part of China’s population struggled to feed themselves and starvation was common. Then, the agricultural value-added accounted for 50.5 percent of the country’s GDP, with farmers making up 83.5 percent of the workforce. By 2010, according to the World Bank, China’s manufacturing value-added had become the largest in the world, and by 2017, it accounted for 27 percent of the global total (Chinese Embassy, 2017)..

According to Bachelet (2005), China is not a substitute to America’s global dominance, but rather presents social, culture, economic and political prospects for Liberia, a tiny West African state of less than 4 million population, but have copious of resources.  But  political pundits viewed the mounting Chinese involvement on the continent as a potential challenge to the U.S. long influence and interests, especially when America and Liberia are traditional partners.

But what the phrase triangular relations depict? According to Ellis (2004), triangular relations are interactions among three states that produce complex processes of cooperation and conflicts among them. The term “triangular relations” can suggest a new bond interrelating to Liberia, U.S., and China. “A “sphere of influence” can be best described then as a geographic region characterized by the high penetration of one superpower to the exclusion of other powers and particularly of the rival superpower. Hast (2014) revealed that the “sphere of influence” has two main elements: “exclusion of other powers and limitation of the independence or sovereignty of the influenced state”. According to Hast, the concept of the “sphere of influence” recognizes a country that plays a significant role in influencing the alliances and bilateral relations that other countries in this region may have.

Africa is classed as the richest continent in the world with gold, diamond, copper, oil and vast forest, but yet, the continent is the poorest in the world due to bad governance and corrupt leadership by political bureaucratese. Scientists believe that Africa was the birthplace of mankind. By 100,000 BC modern humans lived by hunting and gathering with stone tools. From Africa, they spread to Europe. Meanwhile, about 3,200 BC writing was invented in Northeast Africa, in Egypt (Work Bank, 206).

As a matter of fact, the aftermath of colonialism is more serious in Africa than anywhere else. Sub-Sahara Africa is especially hindered by its tropical location, high prevalence of malaria, a small portion of people living near the coast, and low coastal population density     (Gallup, Sachs and Mellinger, 1999).

Weak institutions, poor economic endowment, widespread corruption, and various ethnic, political and religious conflicts are holding up this region for a long time. Africa is especially vulnerable to terms of trade shocks, famines, political conflicts, drought and floods (Morrisey, 2001).  It is found that African nations have aid-to-GNP ratios more than ten times that of Latin America or East Asia, but still suffer inferior economic performance. Ironically, within Africa, countries with poor economic policies have received more aid per capita than those with responsible policies (Graham and Hanlon, 2001).

In the 16th century, Europeans began to transport African slaves across the Atlantic. However, slavery was nothing new in Africa. For centuries, Africans had sold other Africans to the Arabs as slaves. The trans-Atlantic slave trade grew until it was huge. According to the World Bank, the current population of Africa is more than 1.2 million Africa’s population is equivalent to 16.14% of the total world population. The continent ranks two among regions of the world. About 39.8 % of the population is urban while 61.2% is rural.

The emergence of China as a major player in the development of African countries did heat up the competition with the U.S., especially in terms of using foreign aid as a venue to strengthen the donor’s power among developing countries. Chinese development assistance and other transcontinental infrastructure projects to Africa, like US$900 billion to the One Belt One Road Initiative, are growing, but the Trump administration aims to slash the foreign aid budget in 2018, especially the aid to Africa, citing corruption as the main reason. The proposed cut encountered fierce opposition in Congress and was deemed simplistic and arbitrary by Senator Patrick Leahy, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s top Democrat.

While for the U.S., foreign aid assistance helped to place the U.S. in advance position to project its national interest, at the same time to give the country’s leverages to influence political and economic situations in Africa.  According to OECD (2017), the U.S. foreign assistance includes loans, contracts, and grants, while  Xi Jinping (2017) book title: The Governance of China, disclosed that China-Africa relations are based on ten major pillars include Committed to political equality and mutual trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation, enriching cultural exchanges, mutual assistance to security commented to solidarity and coordination in international affairs. China-Africa comprehensive strategy focused on industrialization program, Agricultural modernization program, infrastructure program, financial program, green development program, trade and investment program, peace and security, poverty reduction program, public health program, cultural and people-to-people program.

Aid Data (2014) report which cited William and Mary, claimed China committed US$350 billion in foreign aid between 2000 and 2014, while the U.S. gives US$394.6 billion for the period. According to the Brooking Institute, from US$210 million in 2000 to US$3 billion in 2011, Chinese investment in foreign aid to Africa experienced a dramatic increase. By 2009, China gave about RMB 250 billion of foreign aid to the world, with almost half (45.7 percent) of the total Chinese aid going to African countries.

China Africa Research (2018) argues that China is not Africa’s largest “donor”, that honor still belongs to U.S. However, China is Africa’s number one partner, however, since 2002; USAID has gradually boosted the total foreign aid budget to a steady amount that rests around $32 billion.    According to USAID (2017) report, more than two hundred countries receive U.S. foreign aid but said it unduly goes to a few.  The top five countries are Iraq ($5.3 billion, Afghanistan $5.1 billion, Israel $3.1 billion, Egypt $1.2 billion, and Jordan $1.2 billion.  In the fiscal year 2017, the U.S. government allocated $49.87 in aid for economic and military assistance.

Chinese State Council (2017) explained that the overseas Chinese aid” between 2000 and 2014 amounts to $354.4 billion while William & Mary (2016) research claims that China has committed $350 billion to foreign aid between 2000 and 2014, parallel to the U.S. total of $394.6 billion. According to the white paper issued by the Chinese State Council at the end of 2016, China has given about US$58 billion in development aid to 166 countries and international organizations over the past years. During the fiscal year 2017, the U.S. government allocated US$49.87 billion towards economic and military assistance ( USAID, 2017). According to it country by country report across Africa, the Liberian-state, a traditional ally of the United States of America (USA)  has persistently received foreign aid assistance from the American government.

According to William & Mary (2013) research paper, between the period 2000 to 2013, sixty percent of the total aid went to transportation $29 billion, energy $25 billion and communication $6.9 billion, but explained that the Chinese investment in foreign aid to Africa experienced a dramatic increase. By 2009, China gave about US$48 billion of foreign aid to the world, with almost half (45.7 percent) of the total Chinese aid going to African countries.  The Chinese development assistance and other transcontinental infrastructure projects to Africa, like $60 billion development assistance has cut the world’s attention, the U.S. has reduced its foreign aid budget to Africa.

Wan (2018) revealed that China ‘s phenomenal economic reform in the post-Mao era, Beijing has built strong relationships with developing economies, continuing to provide aid in a bid to promote South-South cooperation. Chinese foreign aid is often referred to as having “no political strings attached,” and therefore, a more attractive option for many non-Western countries.  Chinese foreign aid expenditures increased steadily from 2003 to 2015, growing from USD 631 million in 2003 to nearly USD 3 billion in 2015.  Foreign aid expenditures fell by nearly USD 750 million from 2015 to 2016. Foreign aid levels rose in 2017 to USD 2.45 billion. However, this amount is still less than the annual aid expenditures from 2011 to 2015 (China Africa Research, 2018).

According to China Africa Research (2018) report, in 2017, the gross annual revenues of Chinese companies’ engineering and construction projects in Africa totaled US$51.19 billion, a 0.5% decrease from 2016. Bachelet (2005) explained that the top five countries are Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. These top five countries account for 53% of all Chinese companies’ 2017 construction project gross annual revenues in Africa; Algeria alone accounts for 15% and that the number of Chinese workers in Africa by the end of 2017 was 202,689.  According to USAID (2012) report, the U.S. gave out US$97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to sub-Saharan Africa, with infrastructure projects (48% of total aid) and humanitarian aid (26 percent) being the top priorities. The health sector was given US$6 billion, the agriculture sector received US$4.2 billion and US$3.5 billion was committed to education.

The contemporary China’s active rendezvous in Africa dates to the 1950s, while both countries The people’s Republic of China and the Republic of Liberia entered bilateral relations on February 17, 1977, during the leadership of former president William Richard Tolbert, Jr., a year after the death of Premier Zhou and Chairman Mao Zedong’s deaths, with Hua Guofeng at the head of the top offices of the state, government, and party. China’s win-win policy of core principles is welcomed by Liberia’s former leaderships and the current administration because it places socio-economic, development and equality at the forefront of diplomatic ties and cooperation. Recent trends confirmed that China-Liberia relations are moving ahead in a very positive way, based on a vision of the community of a shared future, mutual support and equality grounded on a common historical struggle against imperialism and national independence.

Liberia is a case study where China’s infrastructures are visible.  China has provided aid to hundreds of projects in Africa which involved agriculture, road, infrastructure, health, education, animal husbandry, fishery, textile, energy, water conservancy, power generation, and other sectors. Africa in recent years has come to be a major Geo-strategic importance to the oil-dependent industrialized economies and giving attention that Africa receives from state actors on the global stage in the context of international politics, the idea of an African rebirth seems to be finding more and more acceptance within the contemporary global politics.

For example, Chinese companies have been working in Liberia and have engaged in visible bilateral projects including the construction of public buildings, health delivery, and educational facilities across the country, telecommunications sector, roads, awarding of hundreds of scholarship programs for oversea studies,  and has contributed to UN peacekeeping force in Liberia.  China has completed the construction of US$55m Ministerial Complex, about US$40m New Terminal at Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, the multimillion Jackson F. Doe’s Hospital in Nimba County, and the planned construction of a US$55m overpass Bridges( New Era, 2018).

China is also undertaken several other millions dollars’ worth of projects in Liberia including the “Chinese Building” University of Liberia Fendell Campuses, the Capitol Building Annex, rehabilitation of the New Health Ministry and the Samuel K. Doe Spoke Complex in Paynesville,  installation of Traffic lights in Monrovia and its environs,  the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitations and refurbishing of roads and bridges, peacekeeping mission, awarding fellowships to public and private sectors, and support to the national army and security apparatus( Analyst, 2018).

During the regime of ex-president Johnson-Sirleaf, China’s waived Liberia’s debt. The rehabilitation of major roads and fender roads including the Mount Barclay-Ganta highway, Harper-Fish Town road, Cotton Tress-Buchanan highway Tubman Boulevard, and the construction of the Waterside bridge carried out by Chinese companies. Nowadays, China is Liberia’s number one trade partner. The Liberian-state, a traditional ally of the United States of America (USA) has persistently received foreign aid assistance from the American government. However, figures regarding U.S. FAA to Liberia focusing on the period 2004-2017 amounts to US$3,701,080 billion. Africa receives about $133.7 billion each year from official aid, grants, loans to the private sector (Worldatlas, 2018).

The targeted areas covered under the U.S. FAA to Liberia include energy sector project, forest incomes for environmental sustainability, strengthening political parties Programs, advancing partners and community-based, health care, basic education, good governance, agriculture cooperative development, environmental protection, rule of law and justice, social empowerment and support towards government programs.  The first foreign aid assistance Liberia received from the U.S. government through Congress approval was US$100,000. The U.S. has emphasized that it is prioritizing investments to restore and expand health services to address declines in maternal and child health, declines in immunization rates, and increases in malaria. Liberia, under the leadership of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has emerged from over a decade of war to be a key champion of democracy, peace, and development. The U.S. is Liberia’s leading partner, having invested over US$1 billion in bilateral assistance since 2003 (Whitehouse, 2011).

In her remarks, Secretary Paulson (2007) said: I applaud these reform efforts and we will work with the international community to find ways to eliminate Liberia’s debt burden, which will allow Liberia to normalize its relations with the the multilateral donor community, gain greater access to desperately needed development assistance, and put its finances on a more sound footing. We call on other countries to make similar commitments.

“I had the honor of meeting with Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf this week to discuss her strong efforts to rebuild Liberia after its devastating civil war. Since her election in January 2006, President Johnson-Sirleaf’s government has focused on Liberia’s reconstruction while demonstrating its commitment to economic and political reforms (Paulson, Treasury Department, 2007). According to the Treasury Department, Secretary Paulson on February 14, 2007, requested Congress to authorize the use of up to $35 million in debt reduction funds provided for in legislation now under consideration by Congress to help fund the costs of forgiving Liberia’s debt to the international financial institutions.

The request was based on the Bush’s administration policy to forgive $391 million in claims on Liberia under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) framework, and requested funding in the fiscal year 2008 budget to cover the start of that process, set aside $15 million to contribute to forgiving Liberia’s debt to the African Development Bank and redirect more than $150 million in funds held by the IMF as a contribution to forgiving Liberia’s debt to the IMF, in consultation with Congress. Besides, the U.S. government has also provided more than $500 million of development assistance to Liberia over the past three years from 2005 to 2007, accounting for more than half of total bilateral development assistance received by Liberia during that time while in the fiscal year 2007 and 2008budgets, the U. S. government requested more than $200 million for Liberia.

Prior to the election of Madam Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s debt equals $3.7 billion, but the full amount including the more than $1.5 billion of that debt that was in arrears to the international financial institutions (World Bank, IMF, and the African Development Bank) was waived. However, vast majority of the arrears were eliminated using internal resources at these institutions (Treasury Department, 2007). In accordance with the Enhanced HIPC Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the completion point brought the debt cancellation of an estimated $2.7 billion in debt from the Paris Club, the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and other creditors (Treasury Department, 2010). The Treasury Department added that the U.S. also canceled 100 percent of its remaining claims after the meeting of the Paris Club of international creditors, bringing the total amount of U.S. debt relief for Liberia under HIPC to more than $400 million.

The remarkable relations between Liberia and the U.S. further resulted in the U.S. government in 2007 to provide $185 million as part of Liberian debt relief financing at the IMF.  In its report published on November 13, 2007, the Treasury Department disclosed that the U.S. also provided $15 million to the African Development Bank for Liberian debt relief financing, and additional $391 million in claims on Liberia under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) framework. Additionally, U.S. provided funding for Liberia’s required approximately $2.5 million contributions to clearance of its arrears at the African Development Bank (AfDB) which brought the total U.S. contribution to clearing Liberia’s arrears at the AfDB to about $17.5 million. Since 2008, Treasury technical advisors have worked closely with Liberia’s Ministry of Finance to implement a Code of Ethics, strengthen internal controls to deter and detect corruption, and improve tax collection procedures.

The President of China, Xi Jinping, in his 2017 publication titled: The Governance of China”, explained that China-Africa adopted the principles of sincerity, affinity, and good faith and uphold the values of greater good and shared interests. According to President Jinping, to ensure successful implementation of China-Africa ten cooperation programs, Beijing provides financial support in the tone of US$60 billion. According to the breakdown of the money, US$5 billion is allotted for grants and interest-free loans while US$35 billion earmarked for concessionary loans and S$5 billion goes towards China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of Africa SME. Additional, US$5 billion is targeted towards Africa-China Fund for Industrial Cooperation.

The Chinese US$60 billion earmarked for Africa development alignment with AU agenda 2063 China offered an alternative to the western style of cooperation, which often required adherence to fiscal or other policy requirements as a pre-condition for providing of funds (Trombly, 2010).   Borgenproject (2018) reported that U.S. gave out $97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to Africa, with infrastructure projects taking 48 percent of total aid and 26 percent towards humanitarian aid being the top priorities. The analysis of the content of the report showed that the health sector received $6 billion, followed by the agriculture sector$4.2 billion and $3.5 billion was committed to education.

In their assessment, political pundits believe that China’s no strings attached policy is welcomed by African leaders and states. Other scholars argue that unlike the Western donors who tend to impose Western values like democratic ideas on Africa, China invest and provide aid without many preconditions and interference in their internal affairs, therefore, it is not unimaginable that China is regarded by Africa as a more cooperative and valuable partner to the West.

Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors. Mearsheimer (2012) emphasized that China is Africa’s prime and strongest ally and in recent years has infused millions of dollars into the African continent.  For instance, the last FOCAC held in 2018 in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that it had set up a new US$60 billion fund meant for Africa’s development and growth. Ellis (2012) has expounded that problem in referring to the China-U.S.-Liberia friendship as depicts a triangle or trilateral is that it had analytical problems that needed to be examined by African academics since there are several factors that present many triangles with different state actors.

In contemporary history, China and Africa shared similar experiences, both having suffered from aggression, plunder, and enslavement by colonialists. Therefore, the Chinese people and the people of Africa have all along rendered each other solidarity and support and shared weal and woe in their struggles against imperialism and for national independence and liberation. China and Africa have shared historic facts-China is the world faster developing economic and holds the world’s the largest population, while Africa host abundant rich natural resources,  brilliant cultures, hard-working, talented and courageous people and significant contributors to the advancement of human civilization and world development.

Africa is one of the cradles of mankind. From the early days of the rise of Pan-Africanism in the 20th century to the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 which now gives birth to the African Union (AU) in 2002 in Libya, the African continent seeks strength through harmony and accomplishing renaissance of civilization has long been a cherished aspiration of the African people.  The people of Africa have made great efforts on the path of a united front through unity, thus leaving behind glorious pages of success and notable endeavors.

Africa must firmly uphold the road to peace, solidity and socio-economic development; Africa cannot achieve peace and development in isolation from the world, and the world needs Africa for stability and prosperity, and Africa needs the world. The world should assist in a peaceful, stable and constantly developing Africa is a blessing for the world. In a land that has gone through so many wars and conflicts, where communities and homes have been broken down where the youthful population seeks socio-economic development and human development, the world should pay key attention to Africa’s economic plead for help which calls for our extra care.

Let be provide a little clear balance of China-African long-standing relationship which has been a win-win situation.   China is the largest developing country in the world and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. China and Africa are faced with both historical opportunities for greater development and unprecedented challenges that without doubts are turning into prospects for both countries and peoples.

Despite the vast oceans that separate China and Africa, the friendship between China and Africa remained unquestionable, dated back to ancient times and transcended both time and space. Communication and indirect trade between China and Africa started as early as over 3000 years ago. By the 6th century, China and Africa already had direct contacts via sea route. According to pages of history, in the 15th century, Zheng He, the well-known Chinese navigator of that time, led fleets to the east coast of Africa for four times and visited places in Somalia and Kenya of today(China-Africa Think Tanks, 2018. Even now, the remnants of the crew of Chinese fleets can still be found in Kenya (China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Former President Johnson-Sirleaf(2011) explained that Africa is not poor; it is poorly managed”. Conflicts and crises such as civil strife have affected governance in Africa as well as the establishment of sustainable growth performance. Although some countries have recovered from civil wars, good governance remains a challenge. This includes boosting national capacity to avoid crises in governance, maintaining good internal relationships and peacebuilding, as well as reinforcement of issues regarding national security reducing and crime.

In Africa, poor governance has led to poor economic growth and it is manifested through corruption, political instability, ineffective rule of laws and institutions. Some African countries went through governance failures and corruption at some point in time, but their governance capacity made them recover and ensure the maintenance of rapid growth performance through constant demands to improve government and reduce corruption. In many African countries, corruption takes place as a rule-based for decisions(China-Africa think tank, 2017).  That is, public officials influence the economic decision in detriment of the entire society. This results in inefficiency and high transaction costs as well as distortion of transparent and normal market operations and thus, creating insecurity for investors.  Corruption takes place when public officials break the laws to fulfill their own interests. The most common types of corruption are bribery and extortion as well as the allocation of public resources to favor political benefits.

In most cases, the African leaders try to run the country by copying the modern western state systems at the domestic level and neglect the tradition and culture of their own people. The leadership in most African countries is centralized, thus, the local government does not have the power and authority to take any decision. Therefore, it hinders efficient the capacity of the local administrations (China-Africa think tank, 2017).  Due to rampant corruption, African children do not have access to quality education which is required to let them gain knowledge and skills, to equip them to have better ideas and opportunities for employment. Other correlated problems as well, for example, lack of skills and strong policies, and that is a low economic performance with high inflation. The ruling class across the continent many times pleads ignorance of the fact that they are in power in order to be of service to the citizens and not vice versa; they exploit their positions to put as much public money as they can in their pockets and even get away with it(China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Unfortunately, most African countries have come to recognize corruption as a normal occurrence and often see it as a means to an end.  In 1999 the United Nations approximated that the ruling elites drained more than 250 billion dollars out of Africa each year in their private oversea bank accounts in Europe where they have invested their ill-gotten gains and wealth stolen from their motherland. Africa continues to be poor because politics is considered an easy ticket to prosperity, to add to that the leadership has no continuity agenda and opt for dying in office, being some of the richest people in the world amidst the most poverty-stricken citizens in the world.

In this day and age corruption and bad leadership and corruption are killing Africa’s progress while the greater number of the continent’s population lives on less than United States One dollar a day. The population in most cases is suppressed by their leaders, the autocratic means that keep these corrupt political bureaucrats in the hands of power.  Again, abject poverty and rampant corruption served as major obstacles to growth and development on the continent; with on the other hand gross human rights violations, injustices, disrespect for rule of law and order, misused of national resources and state wealth by autocrats and corrupt leaders and their families and friends, dishonest bureaucrats, foreign capitalists and the lack of proper democracy, are some of the problems responsible for the continent’s backwardness in the context of growth and development(China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Governance has increasingly become a major instrument for successful growth performance and development purposes in the world. The government does not provide an efficient institutional framework to sustain good governance, transparency, and accountability of its institutions. In many African countries, weak institutions do not secure the required long-run sustainable growth. However, many African leaders are contented with a short term solution that imposes a long term cost to the nation.

China and Africa have since then become all-weather friends that understand, support and help each other. Fifty-one of the continent’s fifty-three countries have established diplomatic ties with China thus far, the most recent being South Sudan in 2011. China-Africa Think Tank, (2017). reported that China and Africa “have always belonged to a community of shared values and fruitful future” and “have always been good friends who stand together through thick and thin, good partners who share weal and woe, and good brothers who fully trust each other despite changes in the international landscape.

China’s unwavering policy towards Africa of non-interference in other nations’ internal affairs nor dictates to Africa to swallow the bitter pills of forced submission or risk the imposition of sanction s or a blockage to aid. Nowadays, China remains a shining and deeply admired posture in the realm of mutual respect for others to be master of their own destiny and captain of their own future. Indeed, that praiseworthy. Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors. Also, Chinese investors are highly reputed by the Africans for their rapid completion of infrastructures with acceptable qualities.

The Chinese government has captured the attention of many African governments and states with Liberia being no exception due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards infrastructural development and foreign aid assistance policy in which the Chinese government practices win-win diplomacy. Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African countries, but what is the new chapter of friendship subsisting between the two countries-Liberia and China.

The President of China, Xi Jinping, in his 2017 publication titled: The Governance of China”, explained that China-Africa adopted the principles of sincerity, affinity, and good faith and uphold the values of greater good and shared interests. According to President Jinping, to ensure successful implementation of China-Africa ten cooperation programs, Beijing provides financial support in the tone of US$60 billion.

According to the breakdown of the money, US$5 billion is allotted for grants and interest-free loans while US$35 billion earmarked for concessionary loans and S$5 billion goes towards China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of Africa SME. Additional, US$5 billion is targeted towards Africa-China Fund for industrial Cooperation.     The Chinese US$60 billion earmarked for Africa development alignment with AU agenda 2063 China offered an alternative to the western style of cooperation, which often required adherence to fiscal or other policy requirements as a pre-condition for providing of funds (Trombly, 2010).

Borgenproject (2018) reported that U.S. gave out $97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to Africa, with infrastructure projects taking 48 percent of total aid and 26 percent towards humanitarian aid being the top priorities. The analysis of the content of the report showed that the health sector received $6 billion, followed by the agriculture sector$4.2 billion and $3.5 billion was committed to education.

In their assessment, political pundits believe that China no strings attached policy is welcomed by African leaders and states. Other scholars argue that unlike the Western donors who tend to impose Western values like democratic ideas on Africa, China invest and provide aid without much preconditions and interference in their internal affairs, therefore, it is not unimaginable that China is regarded by Africa as a more cooperative and valuable partner to the West. Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors.

Mearsheimer (2012) emphasized that China is Africa’s prime and strongest ally and in recent years has infused millions of dollars into the African continent.  For instance, the last FOCAC held in 2018 in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that it had set up a new US$60 billion fund meant for Africa’s development and growth.  Ellis (2012) has expounded that  the problem in referring to the China-U.S.-Liberia friendship as depicts a triangle or trilateral is that it had analytical problems that needed to be examined by African academics, since there are several factors that present many triangles with different state actors.

While global powers debate the merits and demerits of foreign aid assistance to Liberia, Beijing continues to fill a major gap in several areas of interventions; the impact of China in the country is highly visible in several areas. China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and become an upper-middle-income country from a low-income one. The country has overcome the great divergence of development among different countries formed after the first industrial revolution and made a miraculous economic catch-up from behind.

The Chinese government’s new diplomatic ties with African states and governments present a unique opportunity for Liberia-China new chapter of relations that bordered on south-south cooperation especially in the areas of infrastructural development, socio-economic growth, and national interests. This work offers a deep a qualitative analysis of China’s Impact on Liberia’s infrastructural development and socio-economic growth, using the newly dedicated Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Capitol Building Annex on the Capitol Hill, Jackson Doe Hospital on Nimba   and Roberts International Airport Terminal in Margibi County..

This qualitative article which adopted a phenomenology approach examined Chinese foreign aid assistance, infrastructural development, and Beijing’s practical presence and impact in Liberia and additional to dip into the diplomatic plays, and concludes with a critical assessment of the role played by China in the ongoing development processes in the country.

The Chinese government ‘s new diplomatic ties with African states and governments present a unique opportunity for Liberia-China new chapter of relations that bordered on south-south cooperation especially in the areas of national Interests, socio-economic growth, and infrastructure development. The Chinese government has captured the attention of many countries due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards development, and the ways in which the government practices “win-win“ diplomacy This style has featured greater accommodations with several countries.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China (2019), the main characteristics of Beijing’s foreign policy  basic objectives center on safeguarding national independence and state sovereignty, and creating an international environment favorable to its reform, opening and modernization efforts,  maintaining world peace,  friendly relations and cooperation,  good-neighborly and friendly relations,  enhanced unity and cooperation with developing countries ,and promoting common development.

For Liberia, the guiding principles of foreign policy have been the maintenance of national security and the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the promotion of peace and harmony based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states ( MOFA, 2016). The Chinese growing economic presence in the country, centered on trade, foreign aid assistance, industrialization, social development, and investments has resulted in win-win cooperation between the two states, governments and people, bounded by amazing ties and cooperation.

      The Chinese government has captured the attention of many African governments and states with Liberia being no exception due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards infrastructural development and foreign aid assistance policy in which the Chinese government practices win-win diplomacy. Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African countries, but what is the new chapter of friendship subsisting between the two countries-Liberia and China. China’s current engagement with Liberia has been productive evident though the numerous visibility of tangible projects in the country. Over the 42 years of mutual friendship and brotherly relations, both capitals Monrovia and Beijing have since adjusted their selves from just being friends but strategic partners guarded the clear shift in the nature of win-win cooperation and policy of core principles.

The contemporary China’s active rendezvous in Africa dates to the 1950s, while both countries People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Liberia entered bilateral relations on February 17, 1977 during the leadership of former president William Richard Tolbert, Jr., a year after the death of Premier Zhou and Chairman Mao Zedong’s deaths;  with Hua Guofeng at the head of the top offices of the state, government and party . Beijing has always viewed Liberia as a true friend and this friendship underpinned the two sovereign states ” amazing dealings since this unique bond manifested itself through economic assistance, even though China is still being classed by the West as a developing country.

China’s win-win policy of core principles is welcomed by Liberia’s former leaderships and the current administration because it places socio-economic, development and equality at the forefront of diplomatic ties and cooperation. Recent trends confirmed that China-Liberia relations are moving ahead in a very positive way, based on a vision of the community of a shared future, mutual support and equality grounded on a common historical struggle against imperialism and national independence. A closer strategic alignment between China and Liberia and in areas of key focus such as economic cooperation will produce win-win cooperation for both nations. These areas include road rehabilitation, constructions of bridges, hospitals, schools, sports stadium, agriculture facilities, and investment projects.

The friendly relations and cooperation between China and Liberia enjoy the ed sound and all-round growth in 2013. The two countries had frequent political exchanges. Through the cultivation of responsive ties between China and Liberia, through the two states shared colonial and imperialist sore past,   both China and Liberia since 1977 have cultivated friend and brotherly relations. China-Liberia cooperation development is blessed with shared needs, advantages, and opportunities, which make Liberia an important foothold. China-Liberia admired relationship makes it possible for bilateral cooperation to expand in scope and depth, and for mutual interests and win-win cooperation to grow.

The bond of friendship marks a new milestone for the China-Liberia relations ushering in a new blueprint to realize opportunities for future mutual development and contribute to promoting bilateral cooperation between our two countries. China-Liberia relations have been developing on a fast track and significant. China is a major development partner of this country and has played a growing role in Liberia’s socio-economic development.

Nowadays, China remains a shining and deeply admired posture in the realm of mutual respect for others to be master of their own destiny and captain of their own future.  In 2014 during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, China did not walk away and instead made the leading efforts and contribution to deliverr Ebola Virus Disease emergency support Liberia. China was the first to respond with medical aid and cash. China was the first to respond to former President Sirleaf’s call and sent 4 batches of aid, including emergency materials, equipment, and food by nine chartered airplanes. China helped build a State-of-the-art ETU, receiving 177 patients, including 10 Ebola patients. More than 400 Chinese medical personnel came to Liberia, fighting against Ebola side by side with the Liberian people. Their commitment truly reflected that China is a good friend of Liberia and Africa.

In July 2011, the project of Bang Iron Mines in Liberia undertaken by Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation was put into operation. In September 2011 China, for the first time, sent a 140-strong riot squad to Liberia for the UN peacekeeping operation.  Other projects include the renovation of the SKD Stadium, the construction Ministerial Complex, annexes to the Capitol Hill building, the New Terminal at RIA. “Chinese Building” University of Liberia Fendall Campuses, the Jackson Doe’s Medical Hospital in Tapita in Nimba County, the rehabilitations of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitations and refurbishing of roads and bridges, peacekeeping mission, awarding fellowships to public and private sectors, and support to the national army and security apparatus.

Some other projects related to infrastructure, human resources and manufacture are being undertaken to help Liberia achieve economic independence and self-reliant sustainable development with China’s development for win-win cooperation and common development.  On the front of people-to-people exchanges, the two countries have maintained close ties on public health, medical care, education, and human resource training. Intensive cultural exchange and people-to-people bonds have brought the people of the two countries closer.

The 42 years of relationship and cooperation have witnessed major visits exchanged by Liberian and Chinese leaders and other state actors including the June 1978 state visit of former President William R. Tolbert and in May 1982 ex-President Samuel Kanyon Doe paid a state visit to China.  While in October 2006, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid a  state visit to China, and on February 1, 2007, former President Hu Jintao paid a historic state visit to Liberia reciprocating, the first visit to Liberia by a head of state from China.

Accordingly, both leaders during their exchange of visits, the two chartered the direction for the future development of bilateral relations and the two sides signed several agreements on bilateral economic and technical cooperation, cancellation of Liberia’s debts owed to China, provision of financial assistance to Liberia for its post-war reconstruction.   On November 3, 2015, President Xi Jinping held talks with ex- Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia at the Great Hall of the People. The two heads of state agreed to make joint efforts to build China-Liberia comprehensive cooperative partnership so as to better benefit the two peoples.

Also in August 2018, President Weah at the head of a high-powered delegation paid a state visit to China to participate in FOCAC and held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterparts, President Xi Jinping.    President George Manneh Weah spoken positively about his trip to China and the benefit Liberia stands to accrue with specific reference to the US$54 million grant and other largesse soon to be revealed.  And the gains made in the area of re-strengthening its relations with China as well as its support for agriculture, road, health, and technology under the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda.

The new chapter of friendship subsisting between the two countries should move forward against all odds, build on open and inclusive friendship with a mutual understanding based on political and economic benefits, by fostering partnerships grounded on competing for national interest through non-confrontation diplomatic engagement. Recent trends confirmed that China-Liberia relations are moving ahead in a very positive way, based on a vision of the community of a shared future, mutual support and equality grounded on a common historical struggle against imperialism and national independence. Closer strategic alignment between China and Liberia and in areas of main focus such as economic cooperation will produce win-win cooperation for both nations.

The Chinese government has succeeded to remove people from their shabby thatched or wooden houses to new apartments. China has made great leaps in reducing poverty and reaching the benchmarks laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the United Nations Development Program. The Weah’s administration can gain lots from the China-Liberia new diplomatic ties if attention is given the Chines development model if the right policies by the right people at the right time and the right place are considered,

.The Chinese Nation Bureau(2018) statistics have shown that China’s industrial output expanded 6.8 percent in May 2018 while its data also showed that country’s GDP rose to 80 trillion yuan (about 12.3 trillion US dollars), over 13 million jobs were created, more than 700 million of which 10 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty.   The situation confronting the nation can be overcome by the Weah’s administration if the government replicates the Chinese successful development model which has lifted out of poverty about 600 million Chinese and transformed the Chinese state into the world economic power.

But one may ask: Can the Weah’s erudite economic team take advantage of the new chapter of Liberia-China’s relations to boost the nation’s under-privileged livelihood. The path towards economic growth and industrialization in the country need a painful decision that might become unpopular but can achieve the needed result to remove thousands of Liberians from poverty and lead to economic growth.

U.S. or China:-which is Liberia Strategic Partner

The phenomena of the People’s Republic of China and the United States in the global arena are quite significant and it presents opportunities and challenges for post-war Liberia’s development. But what is the ultimate push behind Beijing and Washington new ties with Liberia and the impact of Beijing and Washington’s foreign aid assistance towards Africa’s poorest states including Liberia?

But the new level of Beijing influence has ignited political competition between China and the United States. China views development and foreign aid as practical policy instruments to promote political friendship and economic cooperation, while the U.S. attaches clearly stated goals, stringent conditions, and strict criteria for its development programs. This work presents an analysis of the advantage of China’s rising interest in Liberia and further discusses strategic importance

According to studied, China attached to its relations with Liberia on one hand, and African states and governments on the general level; it also gives other details of the numerous supports the country is rendering in the rebuilding of post-war Liberia’s economy and social institutions including human capacity development. At present, China-Liberia ties are stronger and positively moving ahead in a very positive way, based on a vision of the community of a shared future, mutual support and equality grounded on win-win cooperation and common historical struggle against imperialism and national independence.

China gains at least short-term popularity by answering the request of the Liberia Government especially in the time of urgent need and long term solution the country’s numerous infrastructural needs. Many experts argue that China’s soft power policies of non-interference, one-China policy and no political attached strings‘ have resonated so strongly among African countries including Liberia which have become so weary of those sanctimonious clichés about democracy, human rights, and good governance being proposed by America.

The new era of friendship subsisting between the two countries-Liberia and China, should move forward against all odds, build on open and inclusive friendship through exchanges and mutual understanding by fostering partnerships based on dialogue, common interest, and non-confrontation. At the peak of this level, our leaders need to be proactive, not reactive; they should not wait for their counterparts from Beijing and other great capitals or investors to identify Liberia’s needs of interests.

China’s relationship with Liberia is a strong example of how China is using soft power to successfully and deftly broaden its influence in Africa. In the views of Liberians, China is not only a credible and willing international partner but also a strategic option for the country’s development. On the other hand, the Liberian market is relatively small in comparison to many African markets. Ordinary Liberians feel that Chinese-made commodities are not durable.

In the face of Liberia-China’s remarkable ties, President Weah’s administration needs to move faster to take advantage of exceptional bonds of friendship with China to achieve its pro-poor agenda. The Weah’s regime can use its unique friendship with China to seek more assistance to engage in other several developmental projects especially in the areas of agriculture and social-economic development.

The CDC-led government can also use the unique ties between the two countries to access the Bank of China US$100 Billion earmarked for investment in Africa which is geared towards achieving a win-win cooperation between China and African countries; Just as other African countries like Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Uganda, and Ethiopia among others are highly benefiting from the Bank’s projects. The friendly relations and cooperation between China and Liberia enjoyed the sound and all-around growth evident by Beijing’s development pack in the country.

The two countries over and over have demonstrated their frequent political exchanges. In March 2012, ex-Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf sent a congratulatory letter to Xi Jinping on his election as Chinese President. Notable progress was made in business ties as well as people-to-people, cultural and military exchanges between the two countries while in September this year His Excellency President George Weah had a fruitful discussion with the Chinese leadership…resulting to a US$54 Million development assistance for poverty-stricken nation Liberia.

For instance, Chinese companies have been engaged in the implementation of several visible bilateral projects including the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, construction of public buildings, health delivery and educational facilities across the country, telecommunications sector and rehabilitation of major and fender roads while   Sixty Million United States Dollars Ministerial Complex and the New Terminal at RIA are expected to be dedicated soon as they almost completed. .China has refurbished and decided the Annex of Capitol Building.

Besides, China also understood  several other millions dollars’ worth of projects in Liberia including the “Chinese Building” University of Liberia Fendall Campuses, the Jackson Doe’s Medical Hospital in Tapita in Nimba County, the installation of Traffic lights in Monrovia and its environs even though almost they are now  dysfunctional,  the rehabilitation of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitation and refurbishing of roads and bridges, peacekeeping mission, awarding of fellowships and scholarships to Liberian professionals and students to enhance their expertise and skills, support to public and private sectors.

All of these projects create opportunities (include jobs) for the current administration to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people. Chinese Government growing popularity Liberia is due to the soft power approach in the region and the speed of which it responses to developmental requests by unpunished countries like Liberia.  The Chinese win-win diplomacy and soft power in Liberia have given the Beijing leverage in the country. Today, some of the Liberian political elites have concluded that China is not only a credible and willing international partner but also a strategic option for growth in Liberia. China sees a small window of opportunity to consolidate its influence and project in Liberia as a means to meaningfully contribute to Liberia’s socio-economic and industrialization especially to support president Weah’s pro-poor agenda aimed at lifting ordinary people out of abject poverty.

Africa is the largest overseas destination for Chinese but the lack of well-defined and effective policy formulations by African governments and leadership are pulling the continent backward, while the issue of widespread corruption, extortion fees and illegal payment demanded by African custom officers, immigration personnel and state actors which perpetually exist without a decisive punishment are also killing Africa’s growth, state actors in Beijing have said with no particular reference to any African country.

Whilst as the United States continues to debate the merits of aid to Liberia, China will continue to fill a major gap in several areas of interventions. While it is too early to predict precisely whether Chinese long-term rendezvous in Liberia will produce a positive influence, the impact of China in the country is highly visible in several developmental areas including roads rehabilitation, constructions of bridges, hospitals, schools, sports stadium, agriculture facilities, and investments projects.

The United States, the long-standing dominance of diplomatic ties with several African countries influence is nowadays being challenged by the rising global south. According to several publications, Africa is expected to be one of the fastest growing sources of oil supplies, but new oil discoveries and production on the continent, especially the Gulf of Guinea, made the continent more attractive in the eyes of global competing powers. The United States is Liberia traditional partner while China is Liberia’s strategic partner, both maintained active diplomatic missions in Liberia, yet the perception of Liberians, foreign capitalists and political bureaucrats towards China and USA present a hysterical and erroneous contradiction.

Nowadays, China remains a shining and deeply admired posture in the realm of mutual respect for others to be master of their own destiny and captain of their own future. Indeed, that’s praiseworthy.  For instance, during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, China was the first to respond with medical aid and cash. In July 2011, the project of Bang Iron Mines in Liberia undertaken by Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation was put into operation. In September 2011 China, for the first time, sent a 140-strong riot squad to Liberia for the UN peacekeeping operation.

Leaders, especially those at the corridor of power, should be fully aware of the international balance of power and win-win cooperation, and should pinpoint Liberia’s priorities areas of interests of modernizations, industrializations, and economic growth; if President Weah’s pro-poor philosophy which literally means poverty reduction is to be achieved. Those at the helm of key positions of state powers and others assigned at the notion’s diplomatic missions abroad need to be ahead of the game, be farsighted and proactive and not place themselves in the position of a  “push and start”.

Considering the nation’s economic inertia, the right policy at the right time by the right people at the right place should institute and that those at the helm of states’ power be proactive by knocking on the doors of vibrant Chinese financial institutions like the Bank of China for economic growth and human resource and infrastructure developments. To achieve this goal, the right people with the requisite skills, experience, qualifications, and education need to be accorded the task and place in the rightful position of national duty.

The Chinese government has captured the attention of many African countries including Liberia due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards socio-economic and infrastructural development, and the ways in which the Chinese government practices win-win diplomacy and is foreign aid’s policy. Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African countries like Liberia.

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in his recent book title: The Governance of China, II, page 598 paragraph two disclosed that from 1950 to 2016, China provided foreign countries with over RMB400 billion in aid, and will continue to increase assistance. According to him, China has contributed on average over 30 percent of global growth each year and revealed that in the coming years, China is expected to importUS$8 trillion worth of goods, attract US$600 billion in foreign investment, and made US$750 billion in outbound investment.

With the swift rise of the overall strength of developing countries and the increase of South-South cooperation, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has momentously advanced into a new platform for China and African countries to strengthen multilateral discussions for win-win cooperation. FOCAC has recognized the continent’s growing standing in the global community of principles and shared humanity, its development potential for China and Africa.

China and Africa have since then become all-weather friends that understand, support and help each other. China has a major diplomatic presence in Africa. Even though it’s still arguably, In fact, according to research, Beijing is more widely represented in Africa with missions on the ground that in the United States. Beijing, which has diplomatic relations with Fifty-four of the continent’s fifty-five countries, maintains embassies and diplomatic missions in 48 of African states.    According to finding, the Chinese investment in Africa overtaking Britain‘s and France‘s, and stood only behind that of the United States of America.

The African continent has now become a vital arena of strategic and geopolitical competition for not only the United States and China but also the global south and east including India, Russia, Great Britain, France, and Japan as well as other new emerging powers. The main reason for this level of new partnership with Africa states is that the continent is the final frontier as far as the world’s supplies of oil and energy are concerned with global competition for both oil and natural gas becoming just as intense.

On a general level, the growing profile of China in Africa reached a significant milestone in this year when 40 African Presidents and Heads of Governments were being hosted by the Chinese President Zi Jimping to FOCAC Meeting in Beijing during which the Chinese President earmarked 60 billion for Africa with bulk of the amount towards loan and development programs and China investment on the continent. The Chinese government has captured the attention of many African countries including Liberia due primarily to Beijing’s approaches towards socio-economic and structure development, and the ways in which the Chinese government practices win-win cooperation and is foreign aid’s policy.

Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African countries including Liberia. Chinese government growing popularity in Liberia is due to the soft power approach in the region and the speed of which it is responding to country’s development needs and requests without too many severe conditions.

As the United States continues to debate the merits of aid to Liberia on the basis of good governance, China continues to fill a major gap in several areas of interventions without many conditions besides the one-China policy. While it is too early to predict precisely whether Chinese long-term rendezvous in Liberia will produce a positive influence, the impact of China in the country is highly visible in several developmental areas including roads rehabilitation, constructions of bridges, hospitals, schools, sports stadium, agriculture facilities, and investments projects. All of these projects create opportunities for the current administration to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people although minty percent was the making of the former regime.

But nowadays in Liberia, the public perceptions and attitudes toward China are generally favorable compared to the U.S; this depends to whom you speak with; in the views of many Liberians, China is not only a credible and willing international partner but also a strategic option for the country’s development.

On the other hand, the Liberian market is relatively small in comparison to many African markets. There have been enthusiasms among Liberians for goods made in the United States compared to that made in China. Liberian consumers, workers and small businesses are worried about the economy.  The perceptions of Liberians toward Chinese made products are fewer enthusiasms.  History has shown that whenever a rising power, like China, creates fear among its neighbors and other great powers, such as America, that can be a cause of conflict in direct reference to  Newton’s third law which states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every diplomatic interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.

In the words of He Jun, a Beijing-based energy consultant: China does not have a competitive edge over its Western counterparts in an open market. But in a closed market like Africa’s, Chinese companies are able to gain from government influence.”‘ Western oil companies, not to mention industry based in other sectors, have been able to build upon generations of engagement dating back to the colonial period to secure their investments in Africa.

The Chinese economic interests goes beyond Liberia, Angola, and Sudan to Africa’s major rich richer states such as Nigeria and Angola, thereby focusing on establishing stronger trading and economic ties with petroleum producing states by following a policy of mercantilism, while oil companies, which are under strict government control, seek to sign equity deals with oil companies and obtain a stake in the local oil industry.

In Nigeria, Sao Tome, South Sudan, Liberia, Principe, Angola and several African states along the west coast of Africa are the main hotspots for Chinese oil interest. Nigeria is the second the biggest exporter of oil in the region, while Angola first after taking over Nigeria. For Angola, the state’s rejection of Western aid conditionality paved the way for the acceptance of Chinese aid, and the takeover of an oil block hither-to allocated owned Total (upon its expiration) to a Chinese oil company. China’s top five African trading partners (Capital Week) are Angola, South Africa, Sudan, Nigeria, and Egypt. China has also pursued exploration and production deals in smaller, lower-visibility countries, like Gabon.

In 1949, the birth of new China opened up a new chapter in Sino-African relations. Since 1950s and 1960s, as more and more African countries won independence and established diplomatic relations with China, the Sino-African relationship was ushered into a new era of all-round development that is having great impacts on the lives of millions on both fronts; the presence of China in Africa’s development cannot be questioned.

China’s robust economic growth in the past 40 years, which has lifted 600 million people out of extreme poverty, offers lessons for other regions, especially Liberia and African states. China has been consistently supporting African regional and sub-regional organizations like OAU, AU, SADC, and ECOWAS, in efforts to safeguard regional peace and security but the various competing interests along African governments and institutions make it difficult for development on the continent while rampant corruption and frequent changed of leadership also undermine Africa’s development.

Sino-African trade and economic cooperation have been advancing smoothly. For long, China has provided within its capacity sincere assistance to the economic development of African countries, Liberia is a case study where China’s infrastructures are visible.  China has provided aid to hundreds of projects in Africa which involved agriculture, road, infrastructure, health, education, animal husbandry, fishery, textile, energy, water conservancy, power generation, and other sectors. China’s vastly increased involvement in Africa over the past decade is one of the most significant recent developments in the region.

China’s Africa interest is part of a recently more active international strategy based on multi-polarity and non-intervention. Increased aid, debt cancellation, and a boom in Chinese-African trade, with a strategic Chinese focus on oil, have proven mutually advantageous for China and African state elites.  By offering aid without preconditions, China has presented an attractive alternative to conditional Western aid, and gained valuable diplomatic support to defend its international interests.

According to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country has educational relationships with 50 African countries and keeps increasing her assistance on training and education to African countries. In 2005, China also hosted the Sino-African Education Minister Forum. In 2007, there are around 5,900 students from Africa studying in China, with most of them receiving scholarships provided by the Chinese government.

But nowadays in Liberia, public perceptions and attitudes toward China are generally favorable compared to the U.S; this depends to whom you speak with.  In the views of Liberians, China is not only a credible and willing international partner but also a strategic option for the country’s development. On the other hand, the Liberian market is relatively small in comparison to many African markets. Ordinary Liberians feel that Chinese-made commodities are not durable.  There have been enthusiasms Liberians for goods made in the United States compared to that made in China. Liberian consumers, workers and small businesses are worried about the economy.  The perceptions of Liberians toward Chinese made products are fewer enthusiasms.

China is happy to remain in Liberia as long as Taiwan is out, the former Chinese Ambassador to Liberia has said during my interaction with him in my previous capacity as Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs. China sees a small window of opportunity to consolidate its influence and project its power. For example, Chinese companies have been working in the Liberia thus engaged into visible bilateral project including infrastructural construction of public buildings, health delivery and educational facilities across the country, telecommunications sector and is now about to complete the construction of Sixty Million United States Dollars Ministerial Complex and the New Terminal at RIA.

Besides, China is also undertaking several other millions dollars’ worth of projects in Liberia including the “Chinese Building” University of Liberia Fendall Campuses, the Jackson Doe’s Medical Hospital in Tapita in Nimba County, the installation of Traffic lights in Monrovia and its environs of Sinkor and Paynesville, the rehabilitations of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitations and refurbishing of roads and bridges, peacekeeping mission, warding fellowships to public and private sectors, and support to the national army and security apparatus.

The China win-win diplomacy and soft power in Liberia has given the Chinese leverage in the country. Today, some Liberian political and economic elites even believe that China is not only a credible and willing international partner but also a strategic option for growth in Liberia. America too is clearly concerned. Liberians must heed the lessons learned.   History has shown that whenever a rising power, like China, creates fear among its neighbors and other great powers, such as America, that can be a cause of conflict in direct reference to  Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.

The Chinese economic interests goes beyond Liberia, Angola, and Sudan to Africa’s major rich richer states such as Nigeria and Angola, thereby focusing on establishing stronger trading and economic ties with petroleum producing states by following a policy of mercantilism, while oil companies, which are under strict government control, seek to sign equity deals with oil companies and obtain a stake in the local oil industry.

China is visible on the continued march as evident by the hundreds of projects undertaking or completed, while new agreements have been consolidated for an effective implementation. China’s robust economic growth in the past 30 years, which has lifted 600 million people out of extreme poverty, offers lessons for other regions, especially Africa. China has been consistently supporting African regional and sub-regional organizations like OAU, AU, SADC and ECOWAS, in efforts to safeguard regional peace and security.   Sino-African trade and economic cooperation has been advancing smoothly.

For long, China has provided within its capacity sincere assistance to the economic development of African countries, Liberia is a case study where China’s infrastructures are visible.  China has provided aid to hundreds of projects in Africa which involved agriculture, road, infrastructure, health, education, animal husbandry, fishery, textile, energy, water conservancy, power generation and other sectors. China’s vastly increased involvement in Africa over the past decade is one of the most significant recent developments in the region.

China’s Africa interest is part of a recently more active international strategy based on multi-polarity and non-intervention. Increased aid, debt cancellation, and a boom in Chinese-African trade, with a strategic Chinese focus on oil, have proven mutually advantageous for China and African state elites. By offering aid without preconditions, China has presented an attractive alternative to conditional Western aid, and gained valuable diplomatic support to defend its international interests.

Challenges and Implications: U.S, China’s presence in Liberia

In the contemporary international sphere power politics is mainly being driven by realism, although there is always conflict with liberalism which sees power from a contrary view. These two theories usually swayed world leaders in the areas of globalist and nationalist, depend on the prevailing situation that involves a state’s national interest. But, this article considers mostly structural realism which suggests that countries formed a structure by their interactions and then being strongly affected by the structure of their interactions.

Waltz (2003) indicated that in line with structural realism, balance of power and lobby are the two main strategies that states use for protecting themselves and for interacting with other states and that the choice of one of these strategies is directly influenced by the international structure. According to realism, the possibilities of an alliance forming are related to major powers in international politics while minor powers are only able to form coalition mainly to balance the rising power or to lobby with the recognized influential states.

This study is very essential as it delved into triangular relations of the Republic of Liberia, the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, especially when both the U.S. and China are caught in a deadlock of a trade war.  The question is can African take advantage of the trade war and maximizes its relations with both countries, and what does African need to do? The Chinese ties with African countries cannot be analyzed without the United States of America being brought into the debate as an overbearing variable regarding the bond of friendship and cooperation.

China has a major diplomatic presence in Africa. In fact, Beijing is more widely represented in Africa with missions on the ground than in the United States. Beijing, which has diplomatic relations with Fifty-one continent’s fifty-three countries, maintains an embassy with an accredited ambassador in 48 of them. China maintains offices of a commercial counselor in 40 of those countries and seven consulates-general in five of them.

The phenomena of the People’s Republic of China and the United States in the global arena are quite significant and it presents opportunities and challenges for post-war Liberia’s development. But what is the ultimate push behind Beijing and Washington’s new ties with Liberia and the impact of Beijing and Washington’s foreign aid assistance towards Africa’s poorest states including Liberia?  But the new level of Beijing’s influence has ignited political competition between China and the United States. China views development and foreign aid as practical policy instruments to promote relations, friendship, and economic cooperation, while the U.S. attaches clearly stated goals, stringent conditions, and strict criteria for its development programs.

Therefore, considering the balance of power approach, Liberia, U.S. and China triangular relations placed the Liberia-state in a positive position to singly lobby with both America and China’s coalition. What needed is to balance the equation with both states, while at the same time benefit from the African Union bloc interactions with the U.S. and China friendship.

Similarly, the colorful Africa-U.S. ties on one hand and amazing China- African bond of exceptional friendship would be fractional if one does not take into consideration both states’ engagement with Africa’s entire five regions and 55 states. It is against this backdrop that this article provides a vivid picture of Liberia, U.S. and China’s triangular relations, a detailing of the three countries’ long-standing bilateral relations and its socioeconomic and development impacts.

The three countries are known to be democratic states but run different forms of governments- both Liberia and the United States run a presidential system of government, while China, although democratic, runs a socialist form of government.  The United States and China have been chosen because they are stable, are the world’s economic powers, actively engaged in Africa and deemed as democratic nations.  These countries have been selected, as they depict and reflect an alteration in governance, resources and economic powers.

Ellis (2012) criticizes the “triangle” concept on grounds that it does not consider other important actors in the international sphere; it treats Africa as a unitary actor. The triangular relations approach also offers a comprehensive analysis of complex interactions among the three states involved, therefore the study brings a focused approach to three countries’ relations by assessing impact, challenges and implications for Liberia.  The work considered triangular relationships in a plural, nonexclusive style, considering a subcategory of the numerous imaginable triangular relationships that hypothetically exist, without suggesting that the relations of Africa.

Since there are three sides interacting, the conduct of their apparent bilateral relations produces almost simultaneous effects among the three states. it is against this background that Liberia, the first independent state in African is brought into the narrative as the basis of this work since Liberia was founded by freed slaves from America-the American Colonization Society (ACS) in 1847, while Liberia and China to some extent share similar historical experience having suffered imperialism.

Therefore, significant effort has been devoted to evaluate the triangular relations involved Liberia, particularly Africa, U.S., and China. Even though there have been several publications, there is no such study regarding Liberia, U.S. and China’s triangular relations and its impact. Therefore, the author deems it very appropriate that the ties are put under investigation to contextualize the framework of triangular relations, as the basis to present informed conclusions.

It is appropriate because the United States and China’s relationship with Liberia is amazing and projects the much anticipated social, political, economic and culture dividends, while at the same time it also has the consequence in the context of gaps. China and U.S’s triangular relations with Liberia and engagement with African states and governments is an opportunity since the two states engaging in several projects, foreign aid assistance, and other supports.  One can argue that the prevailing political engagements and contacts between China and the African states, and the interactions with the U.S, on the other hand, present an opportunity that needs, with Africa suited at the middle of the power politics and completion. Both U.S. and China need Africa, while Africa also needs China and U.S., especially considering both countries’ dynamics role in global politics and their economic influence.

According to several studies, China’s GDP per capita had raised to US$9,732 by the end of 2018, from around US$54 in 1952 – a 180-fold increase. China was probably one of the world’s poorest countries at the time. During the same period, US GDP per capita increased from US$2,349, or 44 times China’s, to US$62,606, just 6.4 times. In terms of its share of global GDP, China’s economy now makes up 16 percent of the world’s total, from a mere 1.8 percent in 1952. Additionally, China’s population has grown from 575 million in 1952 to nearly 1.4 billion at the end of 2018, an increase of 140 percent in 66 years.

China has gone from being a predominantly agricultural economy to the world’s factory and beyond, with 27 percent of global manufacturing value,. In 1952, a large part of China’s population struggled to feed themselves and starvation was common. Then, the agricultural value-added accounted for 50.5 percent of the country’s GDP, with farmers making up 83.5 percent of the workforce. By 2010, according to the World Bank, China’s manufacturing value-added had become the largest in the world, and by 2017, it accounted for 27 percent of the global total.

According to Bachelet (2005), China is not a substitute to America’s global dominance, but rather presents social, culture, economic and political prospects for Liberia, a tiny West African state of less than 4 million population, but have copious of resources.  But  political pundits viewed the mounting Chinese involvement on the continent as a potential challenge to the U.S. long influence and interests, especially when America and Liberia are traditional partners.

But what the phrase triangular relations depict? According to Ellis (2004), triangular relations are interactions among three states that produce complex processes of cooperation and conflicts among them. The term “triangular relations” can suggest a new bond interrelating to Liberia, U.S., and China. “A “sphere of influence” can be best described then as a geographic region characterized by the high penetration of one superpower to the exclusion of other powers and particularly of the rival superpower. Hast (2014) revealed that the “sphere of influence” has two main elements: “exclusion of other powers and limitation of the independence or sovereignty of the influenced state”. According to Hast, the concept of the “sphere of influence” recognizes a country that plays a significant role in influencing the alliances and bilateral relations that other countries in this region may have.

Africa is classed as the richest continent in the world with gold, diamond, copper, oil and vast forest, but yet, the continent is the poorest in the world due to bad governance and corrupt leadership by political bureaucratese. Scientists believe that Africa was the birthplace of mankind. By 100,000 BC modern humans lived by hunting and gathering with stone tools. From Africa, they spread to Europe. Meanwhile, about 3,200 BC writing was invented in Northeast Africa, in Egypt (Work Bank, 206).

As a matter of fact, the aftermath of colonialism is more serious in Africa than anywhere else. Sub-Sahara Africa is especially hindered by its tropical location, high prevalence of malaria, a small portion of people living near the coast, and low coastal population density     (Gallup, Sachs and Mellinger, 1999). Weak institutions, poor economic endowment, widespread corruption, and various ethnic, political and religious conflicts are holding up this region for a long time. Africa is especially vulnerable to terms of trade shocks, famines, political conflicts, drought and floods (Morrisey, 2001).  It is found that African nations have aid-to-GNP ratios more than ten times that of Latin America or East Asia, but still suffer inferior economic performance. Ironically, within Africa, countries with poor economic policies have received more aid per capita than those with responsible policies (Graham and Hanlon, 2001).

In the 16th century, Europeans began to transport African slaves across the Atlantic. However, slavery was nothing new in Africa. For centuries, Africans had sold other Africans to the Arabs as slaves. The trans-Atlantic slave trade grew until it was huge. According to the World Bank, the current population of Africa is more than 1.2 million Africa’s population is equivalent to 16.14% of the total world population. The continent ranks two among regions of the world. About 39.8 % of the population is urban while 61.2% is rural.

The emergence of China as a major player in the development of African countries did heat up the competition with the U.S., especially in terms of using foreign aid as a venue to strengthen the donor’s power among developing countries. Chinese development assistance and other transcontinental infrastructure projects to Africa, like US$900 billion to the One Belt One Road Initiative, are growing, but the Trump administration aims to slash the foreign aid budget in 2018, especially the aid to Africa, citing corruption as the main reason. The proposed cut encountered fierce opposition in Congress and was deemed simplistic and arbitrary by Senator Patrick Leahy, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s top Democrat.

While for the U.S., foreign aid assistance helped to place the U.S. in advance position to project its national interest, at the same time to give the country’s leverages to influence political and economic situations in Africa.  According to OECD (2017), the U.S. foreign assistance includes loans, contracts, and grants, while  Xi Jinping (2017) book title: The Governance of China, disclosed that China-Africa relations are based on ten major pillars include Committed to political equality and mutual trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation, enriching cultural exchanges, mutual assistance to security commented to solidarity and coordination in international affairs. China-Africa comprehensive strategy focused on industrialization program, Agricultural modernization program, infrastructure program, financial program, green development program, trade and investment program, peace and security, poverty reduction program, public health program, cultural and people-to-people program.

Aid Data (2014) report which cited William and Mary, claimed China committed US$350 billion in foreign aid between 2000 and 2014, while the U.S. gives US$394.6 billion for the period. According to the Brooking Institute, from US$210 million in 2000 to US$3 billion in 2011, Chinese investment in foreign aid to Africa experienced a dramatic increase. By 2009, China gave about RMB 250 billion of foreign aid to the world, with almost half (45.7 percent) of the total Chinese aid going to African countries.

China Africa Research (2018) argues that China is not Africa’s largest “donor”, that honor still belongs to U.S. However, China is Africa’s number one partner, however, since 2002; USAID has gradually boosted the total foreign aid budget to a steady amount that rests around $32 billion.    According to USAID (2017) report, more than two hundred countries receive U.S. foreign aid but said it unduly goes to a few.  The top five countries are Iraq ($5.3 billion, Afghanistan $5.1 billion, Israel $3.1 billion, Egypt $1.2 billion, and Jordan $1.2 billion.  In the fiscal year 2017, the U.S. government allocated $49.87 in aid for economic and military assistance.

Chinese State Council (2017) explained that the overseas Chinese aid” between 2000 and 2014 amounts to $354.4 billion while William & Mary (2016) research claims that China has committed $350 billion to foreign aid between 2000 and 2014, parallel to the U.S. total of $394.6 billion. According to the white paper issued by the Chinese State Council at the end of 2016, China has given about US$58 billion in development aid to 166 countries and international organizations over the past years. During the fiscal year 2017, the U.S. government allocated US$49.87 billion towards economic and military assistance ( USAID, 2017). According to it country by country report across Africa, the Liberian-state, a traditional ally of the United States of America (USA)  has persistently received foreign aid assistance from the American government.

According to William & Mary (2013) research paper, between the period 2000 to 2013, sixty percent of the total aid went to transportation $29 billion, energy $25 billion and communication $6.9 billion, but explained that the Chinese investment in foreign aid to Africa experienced a dramatic increase. By 2009, China gave about US$48 billion of foreign aid to the world, with almost half (45.7 percent) of the total Chinese aid going to African countries.  The Chinese development assistance and other transcontinental infrastructure projects to Africa, like $60 billion development assistance has cut the world’s attention, the U.S. has reduced its foreign aid budget to Africa.

Wan (2018) revealed that China ‘s phenomenal economic reform in the post-Mao era, Beijing has built strong relationships with developing economies, continuing to provide aid in a bid to promote South-South cooperation. Chinese foreign aid is often referred to as having “no political strings attached,” and therefore, a more attractive option for many non-Western countries.  Chinese foreign aid expenditures increased steadily from 2003 to 2015, growing from USD 631 million in 2003 to nearly USD 3 billion in 2015.  Foreign aid expenditures fell by nearly USD 750 million from 2015 to 2016. Foreign aid levels rose in 2017 to USD 2.45 billion. However, this amount is still less than the annual aid expenditures from 2011 to 2015 (China Africa Research, 2018).

According to China Africa Research (2018) report, in 2017, the gross annual revenues of Chinese companies’ engineering and construction projects in Africa totaled US$51.19 billion, a 0.5% decrease from 2016. The top five countries are Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. These top five countries account for 53% of all Chinese companies’ 2017 construction project gross annual revenues in Africa; Algeria alone accounts for 15% and that the number of Chinese workers in Africa by the end of 2017 was 202,689.  According to USAID (2012) report, the U.S. gave out US$97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to sub-Saharan Africa, with infrastructure projects (48% of total aid) and humanitarian aid (26 percent) being the top priorities. The health sector was given US$6 billion, the agriculture sector received US$4.2 billion and US$3.5 billion was committed to education.

The contemporary China’s active rendezvous in Africa dates to the 1950s, while both countries The people’s Republic of China and the Republic of Liberia entered bilateral relations on February 17, 1977, during the leadership of former president William Richard Tolbert, Jr., a year after the death of Premier Zhou and Chairman Mao Zedong’s deaths, with Hua Guofeng at the head of the top offices of the state, government, and party. China’s win-win policy of core principles is welcomed by Liberia’s former leaderships and the current administration because it places socio-economic, development and equality at the forefront of diplomatic ties and cooperation. Recent trends confirmed that China-Liberia relations are moving ahead in a very positive way, based on a vision of the community of a shared future, mutual support and equality grounded on a common historical struggle against imperialism and national independence.

Liberia is a case study where China’s infrastructures are visible.  China has provided aid to hundreds of projects in Africa which involved agriculture, road, infrastructure, health, education, animal husbandry, fishery, textile, energy, water conservancy, power generation, and other sectors. Africa in recent years has come to be a major Geo-strategic importance to the oil-dependent industrialized economies and giving attention that Africa receives from state actors on the global stage in the context of international politics, the idea of an African rebirth seems to be finding more and more acceptance within the contemporary global politics.

For example, Chinese companies have been working in Liberia and have engaged in visible bilateral projects including the construction of public buildings, health delivery, and educational facilities across the country, telecommunications sector, roads, awarding of hundreds of scholarship programs for oversea studies,  and has contributed to UN peacekeeping force in Liberia.  China has completed the construction of US$55m Ministerial Complex, about US$40m New Terminal at Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, the multimillion Jackson F. Doe’s Hospital in Nimba County, and the planned construction of a US$55m overpass Bridges.

China is also undertaken several other millions dollars’ worth of projects in Liberia including the “Chinese Building” University of Liberia Fendell Campuses, the Capitol Building Annex, rehabilitation of the New Health Ministry and the Samuel K. Doe Spoke Complex in Paynesville,  installation of Traffic lights in Monrovia and its environs,  the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitations and refurbishing of roads and bridges, peacekeeping mission, awarding fellowships to public and private sectors, and support to the national army and security apparatus.

During the regime of ex-president Johnson-Sirleaf, China’s waived Liberia’s debt. The rehabilitation of major roads and fender roads including the Mount Barclay-Ganta highway, Harper-Fish Town road, Cotton Tress-Buchanan highway Tubman Boulevard, and the construction of the Waterside bridge carried out by Chinese companies. Nowadays, China is Liberia’s number one trade partner. The Liberian-state, a traditional ally of the United States of America (USA) has persistently received foreign aid assistance from the American government. However, figures regarding U.S. FAA to Liberia focusing on the period 2004-2017 amounts to US$3,701,080 billion. Africa receives about $133.7 billion each year from official aid, grants, loans to the private sector (Worldatlas, 2018).

The targeted areas covered under the U.S. FAA to Liberia include energy sector project, forest incomes for environmental sustainability, strengthening political parties Programs, advancing partners and community-based, health care, basic education, good governance, agriculture cooperative development, environmental protection, rule of law and justice, social empowerment and support towards government programs.  The first foreign aid assistance Liberia received from the U.S. government through Congress approval was US$100,000. The U.S. has emphasized that it is prioritizing investments to restore and expand health services to address declines in maternal and child health, declines in immunization rates, and increases in malaria. Liberia, under the leadership of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has emerged from over a decade of war to be a key champion of democracy, peace, and development. The U.S. is Liberia’s leading partner, having invested over US$1 billion in bilateral assistance since 2003 (Whitehouse, 2011).

In her remarks, Secretary Paulson (2007) said: I applaud these reform efforts and we will work with the international community to find ways to eliminate Liberia’s debt burden, which will allow Liberia to normalize its relations with the the multilateral donor community, gain greater access to desperately needed development assistance, and put its finances on a more sound footing. We call on other countries to make similar commitments.

“I had the honor of meeting with Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf this week to discuss her strong efforts to rebuild Liberia after its devastating civil war. Since her election in January 2006, President Johnson-Sirleaf’s government has focused on Liberia’s reconstruction while demonstrating its commitment to economic and political reforms (Paulson, Treasury Department, 2007). According to the Treasury Department, Secretary Paulson on February 14, 2007, requested Congress to authorize the use of up to $35 million in debt reduction funds provided for in legislation now under consideration by Congress to help fund the costs of forgiving Liberia’s debt to the international financial institutions.

The request was based on the Bush’s administration policy to forgive $391 million in claims on Liberia under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) framework, and requested funding in the fiscal year 2008 budget to cover the start of that process, set aside $15 million to contribute to forgiving Liberia’s debt to the African Development Bank and redirect more than $150 million in funds held by the IMF as a contribution to forgiving Liberia’s debt to the IMF, in consultation with Congress. Besides, the U.S. government has also provided more than $500 million of development assistance to Liberia over the past three years from 2005 to 2007, accounting for more than half of total bilateral development assistance received by Liberia during that time while in the fiscal year 2007 and 2008budgets, the U. S. government requested more than $200 million for Liberia.

Prior to the election of Madam Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s debt equals $3.7 billion, but the full amount including the more than $1.5 billion of that debt that was in arrears to the international financial institutions (World Bank, IMF, and the African Development Bank) was waived. However, vast majority of the arrears were eliminated using internal resources at these institutions (Treasury Department, 2007). In accordance with the Enhanced HIPC Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the completion point brought the debt cancellation of an estimated $2.7 billion in debt from the Paris Club, the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and other creditors (Treasury Department, 2010). The Treasury Department added that the U.S. also canceled 100 percent of its remaining claims after the meeting of the Paris Club of international creditors, bringing the total amount of U.S. debt relief for Liberia under HIPC to more than $400 million.

The remarkable relations between Liberia and the U.S. further resulted in the U.S. government in 2007 to provide $185 million as part of Liberian debt relief financing at the IMF.  In its report published on November 13, 2007, the Treasury Department disclosed that the U.S. also provided $15 million to the African Development Bank for Liberian debt relief financing, and additional $391 million in claims on Liberia under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) framework. Additionally, U.S. provided funding for Liberia’s required approximately $2.5 million contributions to clearance of its arrears at the African Development Bank (AfDB) which brought the total U.S. contribution to clearing Liberia’s arrears at the AfDB to about $17.5 million. Since 2008, Treasury technical advisors have worked closely with Liberia’s Ministry of Finance to implement a Code of Ethics, strengthen internal controls to deter and detect corruption, and improve tax collection procedures.

The President of China, Xi Jinping, in his 2017 publication titled: The Governance of China”, explained that China-Africa adopted the principles of sincerity, affinity, and good faith and uphold the values of greater good and shared interests. According to President Jinping, to ensure successful implementation of China-Africa ten cooperation programs, Beijing provides financial support in the tone of US$60 billion. According to the breakdown of the money, US$5 billion is allotted for grants and interest-free loans while US$35 billion earmarked for concessionary loans and S$5 billion goes towards China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of Africa SME. Additional, US$5 billion is targeted towards Africa-China Fund for Industrial Cooperation.

The Chinese US$60 billion earmarked for Africa development alignment with AU agenda 2063 China offered an alternative to the western style of cooperation, which often required adherence to fiscal or other policy requirements as a pre-condition for providing of funds (Trombly, 2010).   Borgenproject (2018) reported that U.S. gave out $97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to Africa, with infrastructure projects taking 48 percent of total aid and 26 percent towards humanitarian aid being the top priorities. The analysis of the content of the report showed that the health sector received $6 billion, followed by the agriculture sector$4.2 billion and $3.5 billion was committed to education.

In their assessment, political pundits believe that China’s no strings attached policy is welcomed by African leaders and states. Other scholars argue that unlike the Western donors who tend to impose Western values like democratic ideas on Africa, China invest and provide aid without many preconditions and interference in their internal affairs, therefore, it is not unimaginable that China is regarded by Africa as a more cooperative and valuable partner to the West.

Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors. Mearsheimer (2012) emphasized that China is Africa’s prime and strongest ally and in recent years has infused millions of dollars into the African continent.  For instance, the last FOCAC held in 2018 in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that it had set up a new US$60 billion fund meant for Africa’s development and growth. Ellis (2012) has expounded that problem in referring to the China-U.S.-Liberia friendship as depicts a triangle or trilateral is that it had analytical problems that needed to be examined by African academics since there are several factors that present many triangles with different state actors.

In contemporary history, China and Africa shared similar experiences, both having suffered from aggression, plunder, and enslavement by colonialists. Therefore, the Chinese people and the people of Africa have all along rendered each other solidarity and support and shared weal and woe in their struggles against imperialism and for national independence and liberation. China and Africa have shared historic facts-China is the world faster developing economic and holds the world’s the largest population, while Africa host abundant rich natural resources,  brilliant cultures, hard-working, talented and courageous people and significant contributors to the advancement of human civilization and world development.

Africa is one of the cradles of mankind. From the early days of the rise of Pan-Africanism in the 20th century to the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 which now gives birth to the African Union (AU) in 2002 in Libya, the African continent seeks strength through harmony and accomplishing renaissance of civilization has long been a cherished aspiration of the African people.  The people of Africa have made great efforts on the path of a united front through unity, thus leaving behind glorious pages of success and notable endeavors.

Africa must firmly uphold the road to peace, solidity and socio-economic development; Africa cannot achieve peace and development in isolation from the world, and the world needs Africa for stability and prosperity, and Africa needs the world. The world should assist in a peaceful, stable and constantly developing Africa is a blessing for the world. In a land that has gone through so many wars and conflicts, where communities and homes have been broken down where the youthful population seeks socio-economic development and human development, the world should pay key attention to Africa’s economic plead for help which calls for our extra care. Let be provide a little clear balance of China-African long-standing relationship which has been a win-win situation.   China is the largest developing country in the world and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. China and Africa are faced with both historical opportunities for greater development and unprecedented challenges that without doubts are turning into prospects for both countries and peoples.

Despite the vast oceans that separate China and Africa, the friendship between China and Africa remained unquestionable, dated back to ancient times and transcended both time and space. Communication and indirect trade between China and Africa started as early as over 3000 years ago. By the 6th century, China and Africa already had direct contacts via sea route. According to pages of history, in the 15th century, Zheng He, the well-known Chinese navigator of that time, led fleets to the east coast of Africa for four times and visited places in Somalia and Kenya of today(China-Africa Think Tanks, 2018. Even now, the remnants of the crew of Chinese fleets can still be found in Kenya (China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Former President Johnson-Sirleaf(2011) explained that Africa is not poor; it is poorly managed”. Conflicts and crises such as civil strife have affected governance in Africa as well as the establishment of sustainable growth performance. Although some countries have recovered from civil wars, good governance remains a challenge. This includes boosting national capacity to avoid crises in governance, maintaining good internal relationships and peacebuilding, as well as reinforcement of issues regarding national security reducing and crime.

In Africa, poor governance has led to poor economic growth and it is manifested through corruption, political instability, ineffective rule of laws and institutions. Some African countries went through governance failures and corruption at some point in time, but their governance capacity made them recover and ensure the maintenance of rapid growth performance through constant demands to improve government and reduce corruption. In many African countries, corruption takes place as a rule-based for decisions(China-Africa think tank, 2017).  That is, public officials influence the economic decision in detriment of the entire society. This results in inefficiency and high transaction costs as well as distortion of transparent and normal market operations and thus, creating insecurity for investors.  Corruption takes place when public officials break the laws to fulfill their own interests. The most common types of corruption are bribery and extortion as well as the allocation of public resources to favor political benefits.

In most cases, the African leaders try to run the country by copying the modern western state systems at the domestic level and neglect the tradition and culture of their own people. The leadership in most African countries is centralized, thus, the local government does not have the power and authority to take any decision. Therefore, it hinders efficient the capacity of the local administrations (China-Africa think tank, 2017).  Due to rampant corruption, African children do not have access to quality education which is required to let them gain knowledge and skills, to equip them to have better ideas and opportunities for employment. Other correlated problems as well, for example, lack of skills and strong policies, and that is a low economic performance with high inflation. The ruling class across the continent many times pleads ignorance of the fact that they are in power in order to be of service to the citizens and not vice versa; they exploit their positions to put as much public money as they can in their pockets and even get away with it(China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Unfortunately, most African countries have come to recognize corruption as a normal occurrence and often see it as a means to an end.  In 1999 the United Nations approximated that the ruling elites drained more than 250 billion dollars out of Africa each year in their private oversea bank accounts in Europe where they have invested their ill-gotten gains and wealth stolen from their motherland. Africa continues to be poor because politics is considered an easy ticket to prosperity, to add to that the leadership has no continuity agenda and opt for dying in office, being some of the richest people in the world amidst the most poverty-stricken citizens in the world.

In this day and age corruption and bad leadership and corruption are killing Africa’s progress while the greater number of the continent’s population lives on less than United States One dollar a day. The population in most cases is suppressed by their leaders, the autocratic means that keep these corrupt political bureaucrats in the hands of power.  Again, abject poverty and rampant corruption served as major obstacles to growth and development on the continent; with on the other hand gross human rights violations, injustices, disrespect for rule of law and order, misused of national resources and state wealth by autocrats and corrupt leaders and their families and friends, dishonest bureaucrats, foreign capitalists and the lack of proper democracy, are some of the problems responsible for the continent’s backwardness in the context of growth and development(China-Africa think tank, 2017).

Governance has increasingly become a major instrument for successful growth performance and development purposes in the world. The government does not provide an efficient institutional framework to sustain good governance, transparency, and accountability of its institutions. In many African countries, weak institutions do not secure the required long-run sustainable growth. However, many African leaders are contented with a short term solution that imposes a long term cost to the nation.

China and Africa have since then become all-weather friends that understand, support and help each other. Fifty-one of the continent’s fifty-three countries have established diplomatic ties with China thus far, the most recent being South Sudan in 2011. China-Africa Think Tank, (2017). reported that China and Africa “have always belonged to a community of shared values and fruitful future” and “have always been good friends who stand together through thick and thin, good partners who share weal and woe, and good brothers who fully trust each other despite changes in the international landscape.

China’s unwavering policy towards Africa of non-interference in other nations’ internal affairs nor dictates to Africa to swallow the bitter pills of forced submission or risk the imposition of sanction s or a blockage to aid. Nowadays, China remains a shining and deeply admired posture in the realm of mutual respect for others to be master of their own destiny and captain of their own future. Indeed, that praiseworthy. Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors. Also, Chinese investors are highly reputed by the Africans for their rapid completion of infrastructures with acceptable qualities.

The Chinese government has captured the attention of many African governments and states with Liberia being no exception due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards infrastructural development and foreign aid assistance policy in which the Chinese government practices win-win diplomacy. Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African countries, but what is the new chapter of friendship subsisting between the two countries-Liberia and China.

The Contrasts of U.S. and China Engagement in Africa

There are several forms to characterize America’s engagement in Africa and the term used to describe U.S. role can be classed as “sphere of influence in order to better explain the U.S. ́and China competing interest in Africa. The African continent has been seen most recently as the U.S. ́ and China’s sphere of influence (Smith 1981). China ́s engagement in Africa has raised concerns among academics, diplomats, international actors, journalists and officials across the globe, fearing that China growing presence and good relationship with African governments and states threatened U.S. and other great powers interests in Africa.

The contrast between U.S. and China’s foreign aid to Africa over the years is discussed with data presentation. According to a Borgen project publication, in the past decade, U.S. foreign aid has maintained at a steady level of US$32 billion distributed over 200 countries. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) focuses on three regions: Asia, Europe and Africa. Huffington post publication showed that from 1980-2012, almost US$120 billion went to sub-Saharan countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Congo.

According to the Borgenproject (2018) report, besides states which are members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD), China does not officially disclose its aid information, but the Chinese government White Paper annually published by Beijing has constantly released figures of its foreign aid assistance. China’s Ministry of Finance has been publishing their annual central government budgets and expenditures since 2003. Relevant budget categories have evolved over the years, though what the budget category of “foreign aid” encompasses has remained fairly unchanged (China Africa Research, 2018).

Contrast between the U.S.

Borgenproject (2018) reported that U.S. gave out $97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to Africa, with infrastructure projects taking 48 percent of total aid and 26 percent towards humanitarian aid being the top priorities. The analysis of the content of the report showed that the health sector received $6 billion, followed by the agriculture sector$4.2 billion and $3.5 billion was committed to education.

Accordingly, while the overall ODA budget underwent a 17-fold increase from 1960 to 2006, aid to Africa has increased by almost 3,000 percent, from US$211 million to US$5.6 billion. The U.S. gave out US$97.67 billion over 18 years in ODA to sub-Saharan Africa, with infrastructure projects (48% of total aid) and humanitarian aid (26 percent) being the top priorities. The health sector was given US$6 billion, the agriculture sector received US$4.2 billion and US$3.5 billion was committed to education.

However, from 2002, USAID has gradually boosted the total foreign aid budget to a steady amount that rests around $32 billion.  According to USAID (2017) report, more than two hundred countries receive U.S. foreign aid, but said it unduly goes to a few, however, the top five all receiving over $1 billion per year as of 2016: Iraq ($5.3 billion, Afghanistan $5.1 billion, Israel $3.1 billion, Egypt $1.2 billion, and Jordan $1.2 billion.  In fiscal year 2017, the U.S. government allocated the following amounts for aid: Total economic and military assistance: $49.87 billion.

According to the white paper issued by the Chinese State Council at the end of 2016, China has given around 400 billion yuan ($58 billion, €47.4 billion) in development aid to 166 countries and international organizations over the past six decades. However, studies show that as China’s wealth and influence grows, its development policy is becoming increasingly motivated by a desire to gain access to new markets and economic returns.

Fuchang (2002) explained that China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and become an upper-middle-income country from a low-income one. China has overcome the great divergence of development among different countries formed after the first industrial revolution and made a miraculous economic catch-up from behind.  In the past, China was listed among the poorest nations on earth, and the state was blemished by the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the political disorders during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.  The country integration into the global economy was trifling, its industry was ineffective. Nowadays, China has become the world’s second economic power in decade or two, to the bewilderment of many economists and political scientists, and thanks mainly to four dynamics factors.

China’s remarkable jump has been made from an impoverished society which only depended on sufficient food and clothing to a flourishing society in the world(Fuchang,2002). The state now plays a better role in the international arena due to its improved socio-economic situation.   China has successfully expanded beyond its border ushering a new era of industrialization, and record-breaking socio-economic development. The state is also credited for its successful strategic approach towards the establishment of diplomatic ties and cooperation with hundreds of sovereign states, governments, and people across the globe.

According to Fuchang (2002), China made much headway in socio-economic development. In 1949, most than a half-century ago, the birth of new China opened up a new chapter in world politics, as far as international relations is concerned. The people were defined as a coalition of four social classes: the workers, the peasants, the petite bourgeoisie, and the national-capitalists. The four classes were to be led by the CCP, as the vanguard of the working class. At that time the CCP claimed a membership of 4.5 million, of which members of peasant origin accounted for nearly 90 percent. The party was under Mao’s chairmanship, and the government was headed by Zhou Enlai as the premier minister of the State Administrative Council (the predecessor of the State Council).

The former head of the Communist People’s Party, Chairman Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949 made these remarks: “The Chinese people have stood up to announce the creation of a “People’s Democratic state”; even though China is a socialist democracy, the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has kept to the socialist path of making democratic political progress with Chinese features (Fuchang, 2002).  The Chinese socialist democracy plays a decisive, comprehensive, and far-reaching role in the country’s national political dealing. President Xi Jinping is the country’s most powerful leader.

President Xi Jinping (2017) publication pinpointed that blindly copying the political system of other countries will never work in China, and never follow others without trying to understand them properly. He reiterated that only a system deeply-rooted and fully cherished in our own soil is trustworthy and will serve our purposes, stressing that all countries differ in realities, each country is unique in its political system, which is determined by its people and has been developed and gradually refined over a long period of time on the basis of their historical heritage, cultural traditions, and social and economic development.

Unlike the Western donors who tend to impose Western values like democratic ideas on Africa, China invests and provides aid without much preconditions and interference in their internal affairs, therefore, it is not unimaginable that China is regarded by Africa as a more cooperative and valuable partner to the West. Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors.

China has been steadily increasing its official finance investments in other countries, but these flows are less concessional than that of other large players like the US. The US dwarfs China in official development assistance, but the two countries have similarly sized official finance portfolios overall between 2000 and 2014. Seven of the top 10 recipients of Chinese “aid” (ODA) were in Africa, but its other official flows (OOF) are more geographically dispersed.

There is a Chinese saying, “The Ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers.” China, the world’s largest developing country, and Africa, the continent with the largest number of developing countries, have long formed a community with a shared future. Indeed, China-Africa shares a common stake. China will work with Africa to achieve our shared goal of building a shared community.

The Governance of China, President Xi Jinping(2017) noted  that from 1950 to 2016, China provided foreign countries with over RMB400 billion in aid, and will continue to increase assistance. He further explained that President Xi China has contributed on average over 30 percent of global growth each year and revealed that in the coming years, China is expected to importUS$8 trillion worth of goods, attract US$600 billion in foreign investment, and made US$750 billion in outbound investment.

The first top ten African States that received Chinese financial assistance are Angola ($13.4 billion), Cote d’Ivoire ($4.0 billion), Ethiopia ($3.7 billion),  Zimbabwe ($3.6 billion), Cameroon ($3.4 billion),  Nigeria ($3.1 billion),  Tanzania ($3.0 billion), Ghana ($2.5 billion (Samantha, 2018). The world top recipients of Chinese assistance are   Russia ($36.6 billion), Pakistan ($16.3 billion), Angola ($13.4 billion), Laos ($11.0 billion), Venezuela ($10.8 billion), Turkmenistan ($10.1 billion),  Ecuador ($9.7 billion), Brazil ($8.5 billion), Sri Lanka ($8.2 billion),  Kazakstan ($6.7 billion) and Cuba ($6.7 billion). According to global data (2017), drawing on several novel sources of data and analysis in 126 countries on US$354 billion in Chinese official finance investments.

However, another interpretation could be that China is a relatively young donor and is just getting started.  In Africa, the US still had a strong influence edge over China with leaders in sub-Saharan Africa but is falling behind in the Middle East and North Africa. The US surpasses China’s influence in several policy areas: governance, social, environmental policy among them.

The National Bureau of Statistics of China discloses that the country’s industrial output in 2018 expanded to 6.8%, while fresh data also showed that China’s GDP rose to 80 trillion yuan, which is estimated at 12.3 trillion US dollars.  In a short period of time, over 13 million jobs were created, while more than 700 million of which 10 million are rural residents were lifted out of poverty which amounted to over 70 percent global poverty reduction.

In the area of traditional diplomacy, Beijing maintains a diplomatic relationship with 54 of the 55 African states, and that Africa is the largest overseas destination for Chinese investors and visitors. Further figures from the National Bureau of Statistics; show that China’s GDP has averaged a yearly growth rate of about 9.5 percent. While in terms of foreign trade, China has registered a yearly growth of over 14.5 percent in U.S. dollars. In the last 10 years, with China’s strength in the workforce, capital, market and technology, the nation, on average, contributed 30 percent of the global economic growth yearly, sharing the benefits of China’s development with the world.

Chinese State Council (2017)  added that the country’s share in the global economic growth rose from 2.7 to 16 percent; its per-capita GDP exceeded US$800 in 2017. China is the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations in terms of poverty reduction; it has backed up this proposal with a fund of US$60 billion for major capital projects, which researchers believed are tied to developing locals’ economic capacity, and geared towards a win-win cooperation to be sustainable.

Setting a textbook-like example in the world economic history, China has greatly enhanced the confidence of underdeveloped countries to shake off poverty and catch up with the world.  China has established close relations with global partners through its openness and the aspiration to embrace the world. Under the non-alignment principle, China made friends with the world and opened its doors for construction.

It established various partnerships with over 100 countries and international organizations and is committed to building equal and balanced partnerships for global development as well as creating common development opportunities and space. President Xi noted that over the past 40 years, China’s trade in goods has increased 198 fold, and trade in services 147 fold. It has attracted investment totaling $2 trillion, becoming the world’s largest trader of goods, the largest tourism market, and a major trading partner of over 130 countries.

But can China’s involvement serve as a hope for Africa socio-economic development?  China provides an alternative political-economic framework for Africa while China in return stands to also benefit(Chinese State Council, 2017). Today, dozens of scholars have viewed China’s recent involvement in Africa as that of a development partner. Their basis of argument is that China’s presence presents an opportunity for development and economic growth, by providing aid to poverty stricken and marginalized countries like my country Liberia has helped to provide visible development assistance such as infrastructural, debt cancellation,  scholarships, constructions of roads and bridges and provisions and support to health delivery and education systems.

China has a major diplomatic presence in Africa. In fact, Beijing is more widely represented in Africa with missions on the ground than is the United States. Beijing, which has diplomatic relations with Fifty-one continent’s fifty-three countries, maintains an embassy with an accredited ambassador in 48 of them. China maintains offices of a commercial counselor in 40 of those countries and seven consulates general in five of them.

However, on the critical issue of triangular relations regarding U.S., China and Liberia, political pundits and academics consider the two big economic powers’ aid as not all about just resources, but to undercut one another existence on the African continent, and gain influence over the other. Academics see both U.S. and China’s foreign aid to African governments, nations and states purely based several factors and that factors include domination, security, fight against terrorism, respect for “one China policy (Chinese State Council, 2017).

President Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative includes on the ongoing Addis-Djibouti Railway projects constructed in cooperation with Chinese companies and will enhance free movement when completed. Besides, other five African states have had their railway systems funded by the Chinese government, and these countries are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, and. Angola. But the largest infrastructure project in the African continent is Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway funded by Beijing at a projected cost of R57.2 billion. This is Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence.

I believe that our world order can be significantly better regulated if all nations subscribe to the principles of Belt and Roads and the construction of a Community of a Shared Future for Mankind; with respect to common development based on innovations and industrializations. However, the issue of inequality is a major concern for countries from developed to under-developed, and if not address adequately will endanger world peace; we have a historic role to play in this by promoting a robust, pro-active policy.

According to UN comtrade Database (2016), over the last 20 years, Chinese Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Africa has also risen drastically. The global Chinese FDI stock in Africa increased from US$0.5 billion in 2003 to US$21.7 billion in 2012 (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Bilateral FDI Statistics).

The UN Trade database reported that the stock reached US$34.7 billion in 2015 (2015 Statistical Bulletin of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment). According to the Africa investment report 2016 of FDI Intelligence, the coal, oil and natural gas sector ranked as the top.

Reported showed that two sector for Chinese capital investment in 2015 was  US$15.7 billion invested and 24% of the total FDI stock. The alternative and renewable energy sector ranked as the second largest sector of Chinese FDI with US$12.2 billion invested and 18% of the FDI stock. In terms of type of activity, extraction and electricity accounted for almost half (46%) of the Chinese FDI stock in Africa in 2015 with US$30.1 billion invested UN Comtrade Database, 2016).

According to the UN trade database, in 2015, infrastructure-related activities (electricity, construction and information and communications technology & internet infrastructure) accounted for 13% of all Chinese FDI projects in Africa and for 44% of capital invested. Since the creation of the FOCAC in 2000, Chinese official development assistance (ODA) to Africa has also largely increased. Between 2000 and 2014, African countries have received as much as 1592 Chinese ODA projects for a total amount of 34.8 billion of 2014US$(Lin 2016).

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For instance, in Ethiopia which hosts the headquarters of African Union, China has funded Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit and Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, these are two railways projects, while Lobito-Luau Railway in Angola and Abuja-Kaduna Railway in Nigeria were also funded by China; these are visible China’s engagement in Africa with African governments, people and states, covering the continent five regions. The Chinese engagement also includes infrastructure development, the construction of AU new Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was fully funded and built by China  at the cost of R3 billion. Also in March 2018, West African regional bloc ECOWAS signed a deal with China to build their headquarters at Abuja at a cost of R475.7 million or US$31.6 million.

According to the China Daily (2018), China has also funded Ghana’s Bauxite Exploration, the agreement was reached in 2017 after the government of Ghana has agreed to a R150 million bauxite exploration deals with the government of China aimed at further exploiting the West African country’s vast solid mineral deposits.

The Chinese BRI also covers Angola’s Caculo Cubaca Hydropower plant after Angola in 2017 signed mega agreement with China for the construction of the Caculo Cabaca Hydropower project in Dondo, Angola; the project will take about seven years to complete. The mega project is worth R67.7 billion and is set to produce 2,172 megawatts of electricity (China Daily, 2018). According to the paper, similar development project is continuing at the Kaleta hydroelectric facility in Guinea; value R3.8 billion. China is funding 75%t of the project.

The Chinese engagement in Africa has brought the continent and China very close together and strengthened the bods of friendship between China and Africa. These engagements include the Congo’s Special Economic Zone where China will be investing in the Republic of Congo’s Special Economic Zone. The zone will be built in Pointe Noire in what China calls a “direct investment” and not a loan or gift, while Nigeria and China signed a agreement to build an oil refinery in Edo State at a cost of R30.1 billion( China People’s Daily, 2017).

China People’s Daily (2017) reported that the Chinese government is responsible for a number of projects in Zambia including the China National Building Material which was recently launched by President Lungu. The project is worth R7.5 billion ($500 million) and will be completed in two phases. Shanghai-listed developer China Fortune Land Development is set to invest up to R301.1 billion to build an upmarket residential district, an industrial zone, schools, a university and recreational centers in a new city in Egypt (China People’s Daily, 2017).

For instance, the new parliament building, a donation from the Chinese government, was expected to be built in Mount Hampden about 17 km from the capital, Harare, at an expected cost of R2.1 billion.  Let me provide the equilibrium on “peace, development and belt and road”; the three are interconnected and provide light for human surviving but the key to them is peace in the content of harmony and intimacy; in the absence of a safeguarded peace, there will always be obstacles along the way to development which can pose a serious threat to the successful achievement of Belt and Road, not to mention Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind.

The people-centered policy of building a community of shared future for mankind entails several concepts but precisely demonstrates a duty to resolve political, economic, social and cultural problems which served as obstacles to prosperity for the society. The concept focuses on industrialization and innovation based on win-win cooperation, sincerity, and respect for basic principles of good governance, mutual partnership and rule of law and justice, with the establishment imbued with maximum common interests of all countries involved. If effectively carried out, undeniably, will safeguard world peace and promote an era of a common development and the implementation of Belt and Road.

The central reason for the formation of the United Nations as entrenched in the UN Charter primary responsibility is: To tirelessly main international peace and security and to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and in the equal rights of large and small nations, to ensure fairness and respect of international law, to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

It is very important to share with you that President Xi Jinping while on an official visit at the UN Headquarters in Geneva delivered a vital speech under the theme: “Work Together to Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind. The President used the occasion to thoroughly elaborate on the key concept of building Community of Shared Future for Mankind. Interestingly, President Xi Jinping (2016) outlines areas for reform and improvement in the ranges global governance and China’s intention for the better development of mankind.

Since its introduction in 2013, the BRI has grown from blueprint to roadmap, from concepts on paper to projects on the ground. When President Xi Jinping visited Duisburg in March 2014, the phrase ‘One Belt, One Road’ was a new phrase heard by very few people. Nowadays, this phrase is a buzzword in the media all over the world.

New Dimension of China-U.S. Engagement in Africa

This sub-chapter under the title: New Dimension of china-U.S. engagement in Africa examined the United States and China’s direct investment to African governments and states, and goes further to present some accurate data regarding both countries foreign aid and engagement in Africa. While it is true that U.S. and China’s engagement in Africa has advanced the continent’s growth rate but has also created substantial disagreement. China’s attraction to resource-rich countries is no different from western investment or the U.S. interest in Africa.

Condoleezza Rice (2007) asserted that in today ́s world, it ́s impossible to draw clear lines between U.S. security interests, the country’s development efforts and the America democratic ideals.  The U.S. has been opened and cleared regarding America presence in Africa and its engagement with the five regions on various issues. This section under the sub-chapter U.S. presence and engagement in Africa contains the central U.S. interactions with Africa states, and cannot be separated from national interest and in commercial purposes.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commerce (MOFCOM) database on all Chinese firms’ investment in Africa between 1998 and 2012 are discussed throughout this chapter with data presentation. This looks at investments in 25 sectors. The MOFCOM (2012) database captures the small and medium private firms investing in Africa. MOFCOM report stated that contrary to common perceptions, there are few projects in natural resource sectors, while most projects are in services, with a significant number in manufacturing as well.

The report indicates that Chinese direct investment is profit-driven, just like investors from other countries, while the report further explained that its regressions show that Chinese outward direct investment (ODI). is relatively more focused on skill-intensive sectors in skill-abundant countries in Africa, but in capital-intensive sectors in capital-scarce countries. According to MOFCOM (2012), since 2000 China has emerged as Africa’s largest trading partner. Chinese direct investment in and lending to African countries has grown rapidly as well. This Chinese engagement in Africa has no doubt led to faster growth and poverty reduction on the continent. Per capita growth rate of the average African economy surged from 0.6% per annum in the 1990s to 2.8% in the 2000s (MOFCOM, 2012).

African countries have strengthened their institutions and macroeconomic policies, and that is one factor in the growth acceleration. But demand from China for the continents’ main exports – oil, iron, copper, zinc, and other primary products – led to better terms of trade and higher export volumes, other important factors in the growth accelerations(MOFCOM, 2012).

Pew Global Attitudes (2015) survey showed that African respondents had a significantly more positive view of China (70% with a favorable view) than respondents in other regions such as Europe (41%), Asia (57%), or Latin America (57%). This likely reflects the positive impact of China’s engagement on African growth. Despite of the positivity of the Chinese outward direct investment (ODI), at the same time, China’s involvement in Africa is not without controversy, as conveyed by some typical headlines from the Western press: “Into Africa: China’s Wild Rush”: “China in Africa: Investment or Exploitation?”; “Clinton warns against ‘new colonialism’ in Africa.” The criticism comes not just from Western voices.

For example, an op-ed essay last year published in 2015 in The Financial Times, Lamido Sanusi wrote: “In much of Africa, they have set up huge mining operations and also built infrastructure. But, with exceptions, they have done so using equipment and labor imported from home, without transferring skills to local communities. So China takes our primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism.” In this paper we investigate one aspect of China’s engagement in Africa, its outward direct investment (ODI).

The Pew Global Attitudes (2015) survey section two examined the allocation of Chinese investment across 49African countries and compared it to the continent’s total foreign direct investment (FDI). The report said while its investment may be growing rapidly, it is still a small player, and the vast majority of FDI in Africa comes from Western sources. In this section we show that Chinese investment and Western investment are similar in that they are attracted to larger markets and to countries with natural resource wealth. Controlling for those factors, Western investment tends to stay away from countries with poor governance in terms of property rights and rule of law (Pew Global Attitudes, 2015).

Sanusi (2015) op-ed essay revealed that Chinese investment, on the other hand, is indifferent to those governance measures, with the result that the countries where China’s investment share is large tend to be ones with weak governance. China’s investment in Africa includes some large deals that have been highly publicized. In DR Congo, for example, the Sicomines (2015) showed that iron mine involves the Chinese state-owned enterprises China Railway Engineering Corporation and Sinohydro and the private company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, in partnership with Congolese state-owned companies. Other high-profile deals include CNPC’s gas investment in Mozambique, Chinalco’s mining investment in Guinea, and Sinopec’s oil and gas acquisition in Angola. In the data on the stock of Chinese investment in different African countries, these large state-to-state deals no doubt play an important role.

Section three of the Pew Global Attitudes (2015) survey disclosed that all Chinese enterprises making direct investments abroad have to register with the Ministry of Commerce, but said it resulting database provides the investing company’s location in China and line of business. It also includes the country to which the investment is flowing, and a description in Chinese of the investment project. However, it does not include the amount of investment. The investment to Africa over the period 1998 – 2012 includes about 2000 Chinese firms investing in 49 African countries. We think of the typical entry as a private firm that is much smaller than the big state-owned enterprises involved in the mega-deals Pew Global Attitudes, 2015).

The Pew Global Attitudes 2015 data provide insight into what the Chinese private sector is doing in Africa. However, if Chinese investment is similar to other profit-oriented investment, then the number and nature of projects should be related to the factor endowments and other characteristics of the recipient countries.

The data on Chinese ODI transactions was obtained from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commerce (MOFCOM) and includes deals that approved by the Ministry between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2012. For each ODI deal, the data set reports the name of the investing firm, the firm’s sector of business, the province of origin, and the recipient country of the ODI flow. The Pew Global Attitudes 2015 raw data contains 2,005 deals at the firm level, covering 49 countries on the African continent, with the six main five destination states in Africa including Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Egypt, with Nigeria taking the clear lead, representing 12% of all deals. The PGA figure 5 depicts the geographical distribution of the number of deals by country, while the deals tend be more concentrated in the East and South African regions, whereas Central and West Africa, with the exception of Nigeria, have relatively fewer deals.

According to the Pew Global Attitudes (2015), the East African Community (EAC) refers to an intergovernmental partnership formed by six states in Central East Africa. They include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, and Rwanda with headquarters is in Arusha, Tanzania are relatively resource poor. he Horn of Africa is a collective term used to refer to four countries in Northeast Africa. The four nations are Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti. Ethiopia is the largest country in the region with an area of 1,100,000 km2. Ethiopia has a population of over 102 million inhabitants, making it the most populous country in the Horn of Africa. Djibouti, which occupies an area of 23,000 km2, is the region’s smallest country.

The East African countries are poor compared to some of the Southern African countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Angola. Some of the reasons why East African states such as iKenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia stands out as a popular destination for these private Chinese investments are its relatively more developed infrastructure, including ports, and its relative closeness to China. The East Africa Community (EAC), in particular, forms a customs and single market trading union that has invested heavily in infrastructure investments, mostly with loans from the Chinese government, such as the Standard Gauge Rail project originating in Kenya as well as the Karuma Hydroelectric power project in Uganda Pew Global Attitudes (2015).

These projects will enhance the connectivity between these countries and supply reliable energy in the future years to come, thus, making the region an attractive destination. Within each transaction, we categorize the types of projects the Chinese investing firm is conducting in the destination countries. The multiple projects and industries in East Africa are 3,989 projects,  Chen and Tang (2014) provide a detailed description of the distribution of Chinese ODI outside Africa, and study the causes and consequences of ODI at the firm level.

The breakdown in terms of number of Chinese investing firms in the manufacturing sectors and the number of projects identified by the Pew Global Attitudes survey 2015 is  based on the firm-level deals, while the sectorial distribution in terms of number of projects find that about 60 percent of the projects are in service sectors.

The two sectors that received the most Chinese ODI in terms of the number of deals are business service 1053 deals and import and export 539 deals. The findings contradicted widespread perception that bulk of the Chinese direct investment deals are not attracting raw material related projects, but rather, are involved in service sectors. For instance, in oil-rich Nigeria, about two-thirds of the projects are actually in service sectors.

According to the Pew Global (2015) survey conducted, that total stock at end-2011nwas US$629 billion, of which the Chinese share was 3.2% (US$19.65 brn). China’s investment in Africa has been growing rapidly and its share will rise over time, but slowly, starting from a low base. China’s investment in Africa is big in a relative sense, however. The world as a whole has six times as much direct investment in the U.S. as in Africa, reflecting the fact that most foreign direct investment (FDI) goes to advanced economies. China’s pattern of investment is different, however. As of end-2013, China had more ODI in Africa ($26 billion) than in the U.S. ($22 billion) for the 3013 year.

But where is the allocation of China’s investment among African countries? In order to present a comparative data and analysis, 49 African countries have been studied and 2012 report from Chinese from the Ministry of Commerce is critical analyzed in the context of foreign direct investment. The Chinese FDI is attracted to larger markets with an elasticity of 0.74. Other things equal, resource rich countries receive more FDI. The standard deviation across African countries of the resource rents variable was 17.6, so that the coefficient indicates that one standard deviation richer in resource wealth attracts 49% more FDI(MOFCOM, 2012). Across African countries the standard deviation of the rule of law index is 0.49, so one standard deviation better on rule of law attracts 31% more investment.

Pew Global (2015) survey alleged that China is more concerned with the eight areas of political stability of the government than with the environment of rule of law in the domestic economy. These Political stability and rule of law are fairly highly correlated (0.59 across African countries). Still, there are countries that are rated to be significantly better on political stability than on rule of law. Some examples are Angola, Eritrea, Madagascar, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – all of which have significant Chinese investment relative to their total FDI.

Dollar (2015) finds that these relationships exist globally indicating that total FDI is strongly attracted to good property rights and rule of law, whereas Chinese ODI is attracted to politically stable environments, without reference to the rule of law. Since Chinese investment is indifferent to the property rights/rule of law environment, there are similar amounts of Chinese investment in good governance countries and poor governance countries.

For example, if we divide the 49 African countries into three groups based on the Rule of Law index in 2012, the stock of Chinese ODI is nearly the same in the good governance countries, as in the poor governance ones. What is Rule of Law index: Rule of Law Index is a quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which 97 countries and one jurisdiction around the world adhere to the rule of law(World justice Project, 2012).

For the stock of FDI, on the other hand, nearly 60% is in the good governance environments, compared to 25% in the poor governance environments. These patterns together mean that the countries in which China’s share of inward investment is large tend to be ones with poor governance. Still, note that it is only a minority of Chinese investment that is in those environments. The Pew Global (2015) analysis provides a nuanced view of China’s direct investment into Africa most recent data, China accounts for about 3% of the stock of direct investment in Africa.

Chinese investment is attracted to natural resource wealth, but no more so than Western investment. While the b allocation of Chinese investment overall is that it is indifferent to the recipient countries’ property rights/rule of law, whereas Western investment tends to stay away from the poor governance environments.

Since Chinese investment is equally distributed between good and poor governance environments, whereas Western investment is concentrated in the former, the share of Chinese investment in the poor governance environments tends to be high. The aggregate data is naturally influenced to a large extent by some very large deals, which tend to involve state-enterprise investment in natural resource projects(Pew Global, 2015). The Chinese MOFCOM’s database (20120 on all Chinese firms that invested in Africa between 1998 and 2012 argue that this database gives a more accurate picture of what small- and medium-sized private Chinese firms are doing in Africa. In this database relatively few investments are in the natural resource sectors.

The succeeding Impacts of China

Embassy of China (2017) disclosed that China’s GDP per capita had raised to US$9,732 by the end of 2018, from around US$54 in 1952 – a 180-fold increase. China was probably one of the world’s poorest countries at the time. During the same period, US GDP per capita increased from US$2,349, or 44 times China’s, to US$62,606, just 6.4 times. In terms of its share of global GDP, China’s economy now makes up 16 percent of the world total, from a mere 1.8 percent in 1952.

Additionally, China’s population has grown from 575 million in 1952 to nearly 1.4 billion at the end of 2018, an increase of 140 percent in 66 years. China has gone from being a predominantly agricultural economy to the world’s factory and beyond, with 27 percent of global manufacturing value added ( Embassy of China, 2017). In 1952, a large part of China’s population struggled to feed themselves and starvation was common.

Then, the agricultural value added accounted for 50.5 per cent of the country’s GDP, with farmers making up 83.5 per cent of the workforce. By 2010, according to the World Bank, China’s manufacturing value added had became the largest in the world, and by 2017, accounted for 27 percent of the global total (Embassy of China, 2017).

According to Bachelet (2005), China is not a substitute to the America’s global dominance, but rather presents social, culture, economic and political prospects for Liberia, a tiny West African state of less than 4 million population, but have copious of resources.  But are the views of political pundits and academia society perspective on the mounting Chinese involvement on the continent as a potential challenge the U.S. interests, especially when America and Liberia are traditional partners.

According to the Embassy of China (2017), China values sincerity, friendship and equality in pursuing cooperation. The over 1.3 billion Chinese people have been with the over 1.2 billion African people in pursuing a shared future. China respects Africa, love Africa and support Africa. China follows a “five-no” approach in our relations with Africa: no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference 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.  No one could undermine the great unity between the Chinese people and the African people.

China pursues common interests and puts friendship first in pursuing cooperation. China believes that the sure way to boost China-Africa cooperation is for both sides to leverage its respective strength; it is for China to complement Africa’s development through its own growth, and it is for both China and Africa to pursue win-win cooperation and common development. In doing so, China follows the principle of giving more and taking less, giving before taking and giving without asking for return (Embassy of China, 2017).

China takes a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency in dealing with African governments and states. With top priority given to the interests of Chinese and African peoples, China advances its cooperation with Africa to improve the Well-being of Chinese and African peoples and deliver more benefits to them.  The Chinese Embassy reiterates that China will fully honor the promises China have made to our African brothers. Faced with new developments and challenges, China will continue to improve institution building, develop new ideas and expand areas of cooperation with Africa to bring our cooperation to greater heights.

China takes an open and inclusive approach to cooperation. China is fully aware that long-term stability, security, development and invigoration for Africa is not only the longing of the African people; it is also the responsibility of the international community. China stands ready to work with other international partners to support Africa in pursuing peace and development. China welcomes and supports all initiatives that meet Africa’s interests, and believes that it should be the same with the wider international community.

According to Fuchang (2002), China is an ancient civilization with a history of more than 5,000 years, and has the biggest population in the world and is a country with a land of over 9.6 million square kilometers and a population of 56 ethnic groups of 1.3 billion people. In the composition of the population, people in the cities and towns make up 36.09% and that in the rural areas 63.91%. Regarding n terms of gender, the male population is about 50.8%, and the female population is about 49.2%. In terms of age, people 14 years or younger make up 35.7%, and those 65 or older carried 64.3%. The Han ethnic group makes up 91.59% of the national population, and other ethnic groups account for about 8.41%. The national language of China is Putonghua which is used by the largest number of Chinese, but many of the 55 ethnic minorities have their own languages ( Yang Fuchang, 2002).

China is divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities directly under the Central Government, and two administrative regions. China has 668 cities at different levels of administrative division. Beijing is the capital city with a history of 3,000 years and has served as a capital for more than 800 years. The city is full of historic interest and science beauty, the city retains its alluring fascination of an ancient capital (Yang Fuchang, 2002). China is classed “one country, two systems”, people from the various sectors in Macao have united as one, two system. Life expectancy is such a sensitive indicator or overall social condition.

China’s Impact on Africa’s Development

The development landscape in Africa is changing, with new partners from the global South taking on a more important role as providers of much needed socio-economic growth and know-how for Africa’s development. China has been the most prominent emerging partner and Chinese entrepreneurs have increased their trade and investment relations with African counterparts by a factor of more than ten over the past decade. But the pool of actors has widened and Europe and Washington are no longer at ease. China’s robust economic growth in the past 30 years, which has lifted 600 million people out of extreme poverty, offers lessons for other regions, especially Africa to pay keen attention. China and Africa “have always belonged to a community of shared values and fruitful future” and “have always been good friends who stand together through thick and thin, good partners who share weal and woe, and good brothers who fully trust each other despite changes in the international landscape.

Amid increasing concerns about China’s growing influence in several regions of the world, the Chinese government has turned its attention on Africa, but China’s interest in Africa is not surprising. China and Africa have similarity in common(Brookes and Shin, 2006) China and Africa have shared historic facts-China is the world faster developing economic and holds the world largest population, while Africa is host of abundant rich natural resources,  brilliant cultures, hard-working, talented and courageous people and significant contributor to the advancement of human civilization and world development. Africa is one of the cradles of mankind.

China is the largest developing country in the world and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. China and Africa are faced with both historical opportunities for greater development and unprecedented challenges that without doubts are turning into prospects for both countries and peoples. Despite the vast oceans that separate China and Africa, the friendship between China and Africa remained unquestionable, dated back to ancient times and transcended both time and space. Communication and indirect trade between China and Africa started as early as over 3000 years ago. By the 6th century, China and Africa already had direct contacts via sea route.

(Brookes and Shin (2006), in the 15th century, Zheng He, the well-known Chinese navigator of that time, led fleets to the east coast of Africa for four times, and visited places in Somalia and Kenya of today. Even now, the remnants of the crew of Chinese fleets can still be found in Kenya. In 2002, the copy of a Chinese map entitled “Da Ming Hun Yi Tu”, which dates back to the year of 1389 and is identified as the earliest map indicating the outline of the whole African continent in the world, made a stir in South Africa, when it was displayed as part of the Parliamentary Millennium Project exhibition in Parliament of South Africa. It proves that the contact between Chinese and Africans predates the European “discovery” of the African continent by over 100 years and China was the first country that established contacts with Africa( China White Paper, 2017).

From the early days of the rise of pan-Africanism in the 20th century to the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 which now gives birth to the African Union (AU) in 2002 in Libya, the African continent seeks strength through harmony and accomplishing renaissance of civilization, has long been a cherished aspiration of the African people.   The people of Africa have made great efforts on the path of a united front through unity, thus leaving behind glorious pages of success and notable endeavors( China White Paper, 2017). To my distinguished colleagues from across the continent, representing notable governments and institutions of high esteem.

Africa must firmly uphold the road to peace, solidity and socio-economic development; Africa cannot achieve peace and development in isolation from the world, and the world needs Africa for stability and prosperity, and Africa needs the world.  The world should assist in a peaceful, stable and constantly developing Africa is a blessing for the world. In a land that has gone through so many wars and conflicts, where communities and homes have been broken down where the youthful population seeks socio economic development and human development, the world should pay key attention to Africa’s economic plead for help which calls for our extra care.

The Chinese Government has captured the attention of many African countries including Liberia due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards socio-economic and infrastructural development, and the ways in which the Chinese Government practices win-win diplomacy and its foreign aid’s policy. Beijing’s “win-win” diplomatic style has featured greater accommodations with several African states, governments and leaderships including Liberia.

Following the Cold War, Chinese interests evolved into more pragmatic pursuits such as trade, investment, and energy. In recent years, Beijing has identified the African continent as an area of significant economic and strategic interest ( China White Paper, 2017). America and its allies and friends are finding that their vision of a prosperous Africa governed by democracies that respect human rights and the rule of law and that embrace free markets is being challenged by the escalating Chinese influence in Africa. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) aids and abets oppressive and destitute African dictatorships by legitimizing their misguided policies and praising their development models as suited to individual national conditions.

Beijing holds out China’s unique development model—significant economic growth overseen by a disciplined, one-party totalitarian state with full authority, if not control, over all aspects of economic activity—as an example for others to emulate. Moreover, China rewards its African friends with diplomatic attention and financial and military assistance, exacerbating existing forced dislocations of populations and abetting massive human rights abuses in troubled countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe ( China White Paper, 2017). As a consequence, Chinese support for political and economic repression in Africa counters the liberalizing influences of Africa’s traditional European and American partners.

China’s vigorous campaign to develop close ties with individual African nations also reflects Beijing’s global quest to isolate Taiwan diplomatically (seven of the26 countries that have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan are African). The most pernicious effect of the renewed Chinese interest in Africa is that China is legitimizing and encouraging Africa’s most repressive regimes, thereby increasing the likelihood of weak and failed states. The United States must also be alert to the potential long-term disruption of American access to important raw materials and energy sources as these resources are “locked up” by Chinese firms for the PRC’s domestic market to maintain China’s economic growth.

The global competitions for Africa’s rich resources

According to (international affairs review, 2011), China’s quest for resources, economic opportunities, and influence in Africa is now more reality than dream. “Overall, China’s push into Africa has been remarkably. Chinese companies are sucking up oil from Angola and Sudan, cutting down timber in Guinea and mining copper, zinc and other minerals in Congo. Beijing recently bought a major stake [20%] in South Africa’s Standard Bank to fund infrastructure projects throughout the continent.

Sanders Moody (2011) explained that as recent as August 2011 China is showing strong indications of investing $5 billion USD as indirect investment in Nigeria’s power and road projects, indicating that China is far outpacing its Western rivals, opening more embassies in Africa than the United States has, and even investing heavily in countries, like Rwanda, where the immediate returns are murky at best.

One of the most impressive economic statistics related to China’s role in Africa is the level of foreign direct investment (FDI). The amount of FDI in 2003, $74,810,000 USD, rose to $5,490,550,000 USD by 2008 (International affairs review, 2011). The magazine has also reported that vast majority of Chinese FDI inflows to Africa over the past decade have been concentrated in extractive industries, which require large amounts of capital investment in equipment. The equipment procurement, bought in China, not in Africa, creates limited domestic

The International affairs review (2011) has revealed that from 2001 to 2007 China’s trade with Africa increased 681%, only slightly slower than the growth of China’s trade with Latin America in the same period (687%) and slightly faster than China’s trade growth with the Middle East (600%), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (487%).

But the Chinese Ministry of Commence has given contradictory figures, showing a snapshot that since 1995 African exports to China have grown from approximately $2.5 billion USD to over $5 billion USD. Africa’s imports from China in the same period have gone from approximately $1.3 billion USD to approximately $5.8 billion USD. Simultaneously, Africa’s share of world exports decreased dramatically from over 7% in 1948 to 1.7% in 2004.

The Western media has argued that China’s trade with Africa has had a negative impact on Africa’s exports but the China-African Think Tanks has reacted to what it described as western propaganda. The west contention is that Africa’s industries cannot compete with China’s low cost. However, two researchers, Sanders and  Moody (2011) in their publication revealed that questions arise as to whether China’s raising imports to Africa have decreased Africa’s manufacturing output by undercutting African companies and putting them out of business.

While other question frequently asked: What and how much China extracts from Africa? To address these central questions, the researcher reviewed several publications and official policy statements. The main raw materials exporters to China are Angola, South Africa, Sudan, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Gabon. These seven countries account for approximately 90% of Africa’s raw material exports to China while Beijing is undertaking mega projects valued billions of United States Dollars in these countries.

According to the International Affairs Review (2011) publication, the various countries raw materials exported to China include:  .Angola Oil, Sudan Oil,  Congo (Brazzaville) Oil, Timber, Base metals, Equatorial Guinea Oil, Timber, Gabon Lumber, Iron Ore, and Manganese,  Zambia Copper and Base Metals, Nigeria Oil, South Africa Iron ore, Diamonds, Base Metals, Platinum, Manganese, Copper and Aluminum, Ghana Manganese  Namibia Copper, Democratic Republic of the Congo Raw Materials and Cameroon Timber.

Brookings Institution Press (2008) indicates that the large unmet domestic demand for natural resources in China is due to growing demands from industry and consumers for energy and material. According to the institute, the average daily consumption of crude oil in China went from 320,000 tons per day in 1990 to 932,000 tons per day in 2007, while  a average demand for electricity consumption for Chinese households went from 13.4 kWh (kilowatts per hour) in 1983 to 274.9 kWh in 2007, others publications put the figures very high.

Africa’s rapidly growing exports to China, however, are not limited to fuels and other mineral and metal products. Labor-intensive raw or semi-processed agricultural commodities that are further processed in China, either for industrial use (timber, cotton) or for consumer use (food products), are also increasingly imported by China from Africa. The African countries with significant exports to China are few. Five oil and mineral exporting countries account for 85% of Africa’s exports to China (Brookings Institution Press, 2008).

The Brookings Institution Press’ statistic bolsters the argument that China’s main interest in Africa is natural resource extraction. At 62.20% to 80%, (depending on the source and time frame of the measurement) oil makes up the majority of Africa’s exports to China. The Export-Import Bank of China provides concessional loans to developing countries at low interest or in a preferential manner. According to Brookings Institution Press 2008 report, these loans are specifically issued by the China Exim Bank to promote economic development and improve living standards in developing countries.

The conditions set for the obtainment of these loans are in two-forth. First, a bilateral framework agreement and a loan agreement are signed. A ceremony takes place for each loan with a high ranking Exim Bank official presiding. Details of the loans are very sparse with more details being released in Chinese than in English, and in China than to the rest of the world. The exact number of concessional loans and to whom they have been given to cannot be verified (Brookings Institution Press, 2008).

Brookings Institution Press (2008) explained that whether these loans are foreign direct investment or not is an open question. Loans imply that the African country has more control over the loan funds. Whereas foreign direct investment implies China is investing funds as it sees fit with the expectation of a return on investment. What is known about these loans is that these loans have repayment periods and interest rates. The framework agreements contain language that the Chinese firm should “purchase and import from China as much equipment, technology and services as possible”; the host site should have “plentiful local resources, a vast market for goods [and] favorable economic prospects.”

Brookings Institution Press (2008) explained that these loans just like Chinese aid are tied to country’s recognition of the “One China Policy.” The one China principle or policy as it is sometimes known is the political foundation for the establishment and development of China’s relations with African countries and regional organizations. The Chinese Government appreciates the fact that the overwhelming majority of African countries abide by the one China principle, refuse to have official relations and contacts with Taiwan and support China’s great cause of reunification. China stands ready to establish and develop state-to-state relations with countries that have not yet established diplomatic ties with China on the basis of the one China principle.

Additional language usually states that the project must be “capable of promoting the host country’s economic development,” and that the consent of the host government is required before the project can be executed. The strong commercial objectives contained in the loans show that the Chinese are following the Japanese model of “providing development aid to promote its own domestic export-led growth.” The lack of transparency in China’s concessional loan bolsters the argument that China is in Africa almost solely for economic exploitation purposes.  In addition, there is fear that China’s loans could create a new debt crisis in Africa (Brookings Institution Press, 2008).

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About Cholo Brooks 13364 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.