Chinese engagement in African security — pragmatism and shifts under the surface

Anthony, Ross ; Grimm, Sven (2013-09)

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This policy briefing draws on deliberations at the conference “Managing Security and Risk in China-Africa Relations” in Stellenbosch on 25-26 April 2013.


As China’s economic expansion continues, its role in global international affairs has become more prominent. Not least so Chinese trade and investment in Africa will have implications regarding peace and security, both within Africa but also globally. The security implications of this relationship are broad, ranging from the political calculus of setting up businesses and securing assets, to the far broader picture of China’s role in regional and global security architectures. These micro- and macro-processes are linked in significant ways, as frequently witnessed in commodities industries, where the investment and securitization of raw materials in fragile states have direct implications for larger concerns such as national and global energy strategies, regional and geo-political security. This brief analyses current trends and debates, and provides recommendations for a way forward.

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