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June 30 , 2010

China's Diplomacy in Eastern and Southern Africa


In contemporary discourse on China-Africa relations, there are, on the one hand, the Sino-pessimists who see China as a giant vacuum-cleaner, sucking up Africa’s resources in order to fuel its own rapid industrialization, and destroying Africa’s development potential in the process. On the other hand, the Sino-optimists see China as the ultimate savior of Africa, capable of or willing to 'develop' the continent. Between the two divergent schools of thought are those sitting on the fence for the time being, the Sino-pragmatists, who are less sanguine for sure about what Africa would gain from China-Africa relations, but are nevertheless willing to reserve judgment until the dust settles. This book is innovative in two ways: it introduces a regional approach to the study of China-Africa relations by focusing on Eastern and Southern Africa; and it puts forward a disciplinary framework- disciplinary in both senses of that term- for interrogating the burgeoning literature about China-Africa relations by conceptualizing the three schools of thought mentioned above.

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