Africa-China relations refer to the political, military, cultural, historical and social connections between Africa and China. Much is not known about the earliest relations between Africa and China though evidence exists that proves the existence of early trade relations.
Highlights of contacts at this time include the journey of Ibn Battuta Moroccan traveler and scholar during the 14 th century to parts of China, visit of Said of Mogadishu a Somali explorer and scholar to China as well as Ming Dynasty voyages made by Zheng He the Chinese admiral in the company of his fleet. They rounded the Somali coast and went all the way to the Mozambique Channel.
Modern economic and political relations between Africa and China started during the reign of Mao Zedong the first Chinese Communist Party leader following civil war in China. From the start of the 21 st century though, the modern Peoples Republic of China state and Africa have built strong relations most of which are economic. Close to 1 million Chinese citizens reside in Africa with an estimated 200,000 Africans working in China.
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It isВ В during the start of the 90s that trade relations between Africa and China increased by a margin of 700% and currently, China is Africas biggest trade partner. African countries have also been an important part of independent foreign policies of peace in China. With Chinas emerging economy and huge population, the country proportionately consumes huge amounts of its natural resources for purposes of economic development.
During 1970, with the expansion of trade relations within the African continent, China got a boost from African countries that helped it continue as a UN member. Because of this, it acquired a permanent UN Security Council seat. Africa has also greatly benefited from the relationship it has with China.
Apart from trade, China has provided aid that is without any strings attached and without political involvement. Precisely because of this reason, Africas infrastructure has improved and its economy developed. Compared to European countries, China has proven to be more courageous in terms of investing in African countries.
China has also helped by the creation of economic zones, provision of agricultural support and investment in mines. In addition to this, it has also built power stations, schools highways and hospitals in Africa. What is more, China has provided the much needed technological assistance in the areas of extraction and exploration in African countries.
Currently, Africa-China relations have broadened in scope and taken in sectors like tourism, banking, environmental protection and air transport. African people are now enjoying international settlement services which are provided by Chinese banks.
Africa-China relations are beneficial for both parties because both have dreams, on the one hand, China is looking for вЂњnational rejuvenationвЂќ while Africa is interested in development without having to depend on others.
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