The Impact of China’s Rise on the EU’s Geopolitical Reach and Interests in Africa

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Series Details Vol.16, Issue 4, November 2011, p427-446
Publication Date November 2011
ISSN 1384-6299
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The African continent has traditionally been considered as Europe's 'backyard' or 'pré-carré'. Yet, percepetions of Africa are gradually changing, with emerging powers such as China increasing their engagement on the continent.

From this arises the fundamental question of how the European Union's (EU) position as an established actor in Africa is affected by the rise of China. While it has been widely acknowledged that the growing Chinese activities in Africa have various implications for the EU, this article revisits the prevailing argument that the Chinese (re)involvement on the African continent poses a threat to the EU's geopolitical reach in the region by challenging its norms and practices.

On the contrary, this article takes the view that the alternative presented by China has encouraged the EU to act as a more coherent and consistent international actor and to start redefining the nature of its partnership with Africa. As a result, new opportunities arise for Sino-European cooperation in Africa.

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