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China Calling: Can U.S. Policy Makers Find Ways to Mesh with China's Interests in Africa?

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Christopher C. Starling

Funder(s): Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Funder(s): Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Series: Hoover Digest

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)

Keywords: Foreign Policy; Africa; China

Type: Report

Coverage: China Africa


Six hundred years after Admiral Zheng He led a Chinese expedition to East Africa, China has revitalized its maritime industry and is within a few years of competing with Japan and South Korea for the world’s number-one shipbuilding spot. China is not interested in exercising sovereignty over Africa; its interests in Africa are primarily commercial. The United States must convince China that for the sake of long-term stability and lasting prosperity, it’s more important to promote good governance and prevent corruption than to merely do business and amass wealth.

The United States and China may not agree on a form of government, but both agree on and desire stable, predictable governments in developing countries, especially where there are shared business and diplomatic interests. Both can help Africa improve its governance, security, and rule of law.