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This book investigates the expanding involvement of China in security cooperation in Africa. Drawing on leading and emerging scholars in the field, the volume uses a combination of analytical insights and case studies to unpack the complexity of security challenges confronting China and the continent. It interrogates how security considerations impact upon the growing economic and social links China has developed with African states.



1. Introduction: Seeking Security: China’s Expanding Involvement in Security Cooperation in Africa

China’s engagement in Africa, once characterised as decidedly non-interventionist in its pursuit of economic interests, is on course to becoming more deeply involved in the region’s security landscape. While the conventions behind Chinese involvement remain bound to an economic core, the growing exposure of its interests to the vagaries of African politics and, concurrently, pressures to demonstrate greater global activism, are bringing about a reconsideration of Beijing’s sanguine approach to the region.
Chris Alden, Laura Barber

Africa’s Peace and Security and China’s Evolving Policy


2. Africa’s Security Challenges and China’s Evolving Approach to Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture

This chapter examines the development of the African Peace and Security Architecture and how China has sought to devise approaches to security within and outside of that institutional framework. The heritage of colonialism and its impact on the viability of the African state system, coupled by efforts to develop institutions and enhance security, are reviewed. The evolution of African security arrangements to a position of ‘non-indifference’ is contrasted with the changes to China’s policies of non-intervention towards peace and security.
Abiodun Alao, Chris Alden

3. China’s Changing Role in Peace and Security in Africa

This chapter investigates the evolution of China’s approach to peace and security on the African continent through the lens of its changing global approach to these concerns. The impact of its expanding international economic footprint, coupled to its growing exposure to political risk across the continent and Western pressure to participate as a ‘responsible stakeholder’, compelled the Chinese government to rethink key tenets of its global strategy, adopting a more pragmatic form of engagement in security matters. The search for a balance between the pursuit of Chinese interests and the fulfilment of its responsibilities is a significant challenge for China in the twenty-first century.
Chris Alden, Zheng Yixiao

4. Developmental Peace: Understanding China’s Africa Policy in Peace and Security

China’s policy toward African peace and security has significantly changed in conjunction with sectoral expansion, identity change, actor diversification, and multilateral engagement occurs in Africa. The author uses a domestic development perspective to understand and analyze China’s Africa policy in peace and security. China’s “development first” policy determines its approach to peace and security as “developmental peace,” which is different from the liberal peace idea based on Western countries’ experience. Influenced by this concept, China’s policy toward Africa in peace and security assumes some distinctive features, which can be termed the “sovereignty plus development” model.
Wang Xuejun

5. China’s Development-Oriented Peacekeeping Strategy in Africa

This chapter investigates how China has adjusted its policies in response to the growing need to participate in peacekeeping in Africa and elsewhere in the world. China’s focus on a development-oriented approach, persuasive diplomacy, and noncoercive means demonstrates an alternative to the robust approach of humanitarian intervention usually advocated by the Western countries, which puts more stress on peacekeeping troops’ coercive intervention despite lack of consent of major relevant parties, while often causing the loss of neutrality and deep entanglement with the civil conflicts.
Xue Lei

6. On China’s Military Diplomacy in Africa

This chapter provides a survey of the central tenets of China’s military diplomacy in Africa and insight into China’s lead institutions involved in this process. The policies and conduct of China’s military, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), operating in Africa and their perception of the challenges they experience, as well as the complex policy environment, are explored. This assessment argues that China should strengthen strategic coordination, support the building of African Peace and Security Architecture, communication with Western countries, nontraditional security cooperation, and public diplomacy by the PLA.
Shen Zhixiong

7. China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security

This chapter tackles the basis and details of the Initiative on China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security (ICACPPS), launched in July 2012 and the foundation for China’s collaboration in security with African governments and regional institutions. It reflects upon the motivations behind this joint initiative with African partners and assessing the key challenges to confront China and Africa in the security realm. The study argues that China should broaden the scope of cooperation to cover most non-traditional security issues, to involve nonstate actors, and to rely more on multilateral cooperation platforms for facilitating the construction of ICACPPS.
Zhang Chun

Case Studies


8. China in International Conflict Management

Darfur Issue as a Case
This chapter examines the case study of Chinese foreign policy toward the Darfur crisis and how Beijing responded to this unanticipated series of challenges to its non-intervention policy. The role of Beijing as a mediator and promoter of peaceful solutions to the unfolding events in Darfur is emphasized, shedding light on the aims and aspirations of Chinese foreign policy in Africa. Understanding how Beijing conceptualizes its role and the impact that this has had on policy approaches are unpacked in detail in this study.
Jian Junbo

9. Sudan and South Sudan: A Testing Ground for Beijing’s Peace and Security Engagement

This chapter takes the case studies of Sudan and South Sudan where China has played a significant if sometimes controversial role. Investigating the shifting policy positions and response to crisis engendered by Chinese multilateral engagement and its commercial interests in the region, the constraints and obstacles to constructive involvement are highlighted through this study.
Daniel Large

10. Lesson Learning in the Case of China-Sudan and South Sudan Relations (2005–2013)

This chapter assesses the lessons learnt by Chinese foreign policy institutions along the trajectory of China’s emerging ties with Sudan and, following independence, South Sudan. The process of learning in foreign policy forms the core of the theoretical argument, providing an insight into the impact which exposure to the complexities of Sudan has had on Chinese foreign policy approaches. Questions such as who is doing the learning and where it is located within Chinese institutions are considered, lending much insight to the debates on changing Chinese foreign policy.
Laura Barber

11. China’s New Intervention Policy: China’s Peacekeeping Mission to Mali

This chapter examines the expanding role of China in peacekeeping in Africa with specific reference to Mali where its first military trained peacekeeping troops operated. The author reviews the challenges arising from the weakening of the Malian state, the role of terrorism and the Libyan crisis, all part of the volatile context in which China’s deepest engagement in UN peacekeeping is taking place. Trends and experiences of the Chinese peacekeepers in Mali are suggestive of the future of Chinese peace support operations in coming years.
Niall Duggan

12. China and Liberia: Engagement in a Post-Conflict Country (2003–2013)

This chapter examines one of the earliest Chinese efforts at peacekeeping in Africa, that of Liberia, where Beijing found itself unexpectedly playing a major part in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction. China’s involvement ranges from participation in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to its social, productive and commercial role in the revival of the country’s fragile socio-economic structures. Both within the framework of UNMIL and at the bilateral level, Beijing has shown itself to be an important stakeholder and development partner in Liberia as in most national post-conflict situations on the African continent.
This multidimensional study focuses on how the need to stabilise a post-conflict country requires going beyond the security pillar and drawing in other pillars such as aid, infrastructure, trade, investment and governance. The chapter begins by exploring the political relations between China and Liberia, then examines the Chinese involvement in UNMIL, analyses various aspects of bilateral relations and concludes by balancing the complex interactions between both actors and making a set of recommendations to address key issues.
Guillaume Moumouni

13. Security Risks facing Chinese Actors in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo

This chapter investigates how Chinese support for its overseas commercial and citizens’ interests has influenced its policies and their implementation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The spread of Chinese commercial interests in DRC, especially prevalent in the mining and forestry sectors, has brought about rising concern on the part officials in Beijing as to their safety and that of Chinese citizens, which has laid the basis for new approaches to managing security in that country.
Wang Duanyong, Zhao Pei

Regional and Global Perspectives


14. Ethiopia, China, and the West

This chapter provides an assessment of the triangular relationship between Ethiopia, China, and the West and its impact on security on the Horn of Africa. Examining how geo-politics has impacted over time upon the policy options of external states like China and the United States with regard to Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, and the way that successive governments in Addis Ababa have sought to mobilize support or thwart interference from these external states is a key to understanding regional peace and security.
Aaron Tesfaye

15. Beyond Symbolism: China and the African Union in African Peace and Security

This chapter investigates the growing involvement of China in the security sphere through its relationship to the African Union (AU). The role of the African Peace and Security Architecture as the AU’s structural response to violence and instability across the continent, and how Chinese foreign policy has sought to engage with the its institutions and policies – including provisions for financial, technical and partnership – forms the core of this contribution.
Charles Ukeje, Yonas Tariku

16. Comparing China’s Approach to Security in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and in Africa: Shifting Approaches, Practices and Motivations

This chapter reflects upon the development and experience of the Chinese-instigated Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional institution initiated by Beijing which operating in Asia, and the insights and lessons that it provides for China’s role in African regional security issues. The political dynamics within the SCO, including the competing visions and complementary approaches by China and its member states, offers insights into how China and African states might expand their own security arrangements over time.
Rudolf du Plessis

17. China, Africa and the Arms Trade Treaty

This chapter investigates China’s growing arms trade, especially with Africa, and the evolution of China’s arms export controls. Like other external powers, Beijing’s involvement in multilateralism and especially peace support is in danger of being compromised by its active pursuit of the arms trade in Africa. Examining how international efforts at reigning in the sale of small arms and other other conventional weapons are addressed by China and whether we are seeing gradual change to Chinese policy forms the core of this study.
Bernardo Mariani, Elizabeth Kirkham

18. Conclusion: China and African Security: A Glimpse into the Future

This concluding chapter draws out the main findings of the book and reflects upon the prospects for further cooperation between China and Africa in peace and security. It focuses on the key challenges to be faced by Chinese policymakers in supporting sustainable African security – including terrorism, instability and governance concerns – and how Chinese and African counterparts might find creative ways of addressing these in future.
Zhang Chun, Chris Alden


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