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    Alden, Chris and Large, Daniel 2015. On Becoming a Norms Maker: Chinese Foreign Policy, Norms Evolution and the Challenges of Security in Africa. The China Quarterly, Vol. 221, p. 123.

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    Brant, Philippa 2013. Chinese Aid in the South Pacific: Linked to Resources?. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 37, Issue. 2, p. 158.

    Monson, Jamie 2013. Remembering Work on the Tazara Railway in Africa and China, 1965–2011: When “New Men” Grow Old. African Studies Review, Vol. 56, Issue. 01, p. 45.

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    Hadland, Adrian 2012. If the Hat Fits: Revisiting Chinese “Neo-Imperialism” in Africa From a Comparative Historical Perspective. Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 4, Issue. 4, p. 467.

    Hofman, Irna and Ho, Peter 2012. China's ‘Developmental Outsourcing’: A critical examination of Chinese global ‘land grabs’ discourse. Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 39, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    GALLAGHER, JULIA 2011. Ruthless player or development partner? Britain's ambiguous reaction to China in Africa. Review of International Studies, Vol. 37, Issue. 05, p. 2293.

    Large, Daniel 2010. Africa and the New World Era.

  • The China Quarterly, Volume 199
  • September 2009, pp. 777-795

The Past in the Present: Historical and Rhetorical Lineages in China's Relations with Africa*


China's official rhetoric on its relations with Africa is important; it frames, legitimates and renders comprehensible its foreign policy in this ever-important area of the world. This article explores the following puzzle: why China's rhetoric on its involvement with Africa has retained substantial continuities with the Maoist past, when virtually every other aspect of Maoism has been officially repudiated. Despite the burgeoning layers of complexity in China's increasing involvement in Africa, a set of surprisingly long-lived principles of non-interference, mutuality, friendship, non-conditional aid and analogous suffering at the hands of imperialism from the early 1960s to the present continue to be propagated. Newer notions of complementarity and international division of labour are beginning to come in, but the older rhetoric still dominates official discourse, at least in part because it continues to appeal to domestic Chinese audiences.

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John Fitzgerald , Awakening China: Politics, Culture and Class in the Nationalist Revolution (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996)

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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