FOCAC 2015: as new beginning of China-Africa relations
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The book represents what the editors call a 'policy think-tank process' and, as such, it opens an important scholarly and academic window for showing how the measurements of FOCAC benefits have had an important bearing on Africa's growth and development prospects. As mentioned, academic debates and polemical contestation will continue about whether China's impulses in Africa are entirely altruistic and benevolent or whether China represents the new face of imperialism, neo-colonialism and exploitation. However, the book's chapters provide careful and nuanced readings about how, across the very complex political landscape of Africa's sovereign inter-state system, China has worked assiduously to demonstrate the delivery of tangible and welfare-enhancing benefits as a development partner. This partnership has certainly been greatly augmented and enhanced since the establishment of FOCAC as the quintessential platform for promoting dialogue, solidarity, equity and cooperation between the two sides. Notwithstanding the growing synergies and complementarities in China-Africa relations, there remains much consternation and anxiety, sometimes bordering on hysteria, about what China's deepening and wide-ranging engagement portends for the future of Africa's growth, development and stability; this is all the more the case since China has now eclipsed both the European Union and the US as the continent's largest trading partner. This book is thus an important antidote to many of the specious, deceptive and sceptical interpretations that have questioned China's role in Africa. Hence, a book that uses FOCAC as its analytical and methodological register has to be taken seriously for the persuasiveness of its argument and the integrity of its substance.
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