September 20, 2018

More than Economy

China Is Increasing Its Defense Cooperation with African Countries

Roman Kot

The 7th China-Africa Cooperation Forum, held on September 3–4, 2018 was traditionally rich in the Chinese leadership's promises of multi-billion dollar investment projects. True, the leadership of China voices such statements regularly at forums like that, so there is nothing new about it. This year's Forum is important in a different way. For the first time, China's leadership announced its intention to expand its security presence in Africa.

Formally, the intensification of cooperation in security sphere is justified by the need to protect China's economic positions and investments from all kinds of excesses. True, the strengthening of the security component of the Chinese presence in Africa is aimed not only at this.

In the course of the implementation of Chinese projects, including in Africa, the PRC faces increasing frustration in partner countries. Regardless of whether there are real grounds for such dissatisfaction, in Africa, as in most third-world countries, there are always those who are ready to oppose for various reasons, ranging from tribal vendettes to secession from financial flows. Besides, an increase in security presence of China in Africa with a high probability will trigger appropriate steps by states that considered certain parts of the Black Continent their own spheres of influence: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the context of policies of containing China all over the world. All this creates additional conditions for new conflicts over the division of spheres of influence in Africa.

The article is available in Ukrainian


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