Over the past decades, numerous critiques have emerged of China’s policy towards Africa. These critiques perceive China as a mercantilist or neocolonial power seeking to dominate the African continent through land grabs, exploitative trade deals, and resource extraction. These critiques do however not consider how the Chinese government has attempted to justify its aid policy towards Africa in ways that claim to secure human beings. Though the Chinese government has not officially adopted the concept of human security, it has engaged with the concept and developed its own interpretation of how human beings should be secured. This interpretation is based on the depiction of China as a state victimized through imperialism that has emerged in the twenty-first century as a global power with visionary ideas. Accordingly, Chinese policymakers believe they can offer an alternative model to Western interventions, imposition of neoliberal economic doctrine, and emphasis on democratization and human rights. In Africa, though China’s vision has generated benefits for some, it has also victimized others. China needs to critically reflect on and adapt its developmental vision if it truly intends to help human beings overcome the myriad challenges they face in their daily lives.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Hwang, Y. and Black, L. (2020) 'Victimized State and Visionary Leader? Questioning China’s Approach to Human Security in Africa', East Asia 37: 1–19
Subscribe to CGDKN
Stay informed with our regular email updates.Subscribe