China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

A China in Africa Podcast

For much of the past 20 years, China’s strategy in Africa could be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has broadened significantly in pursuit of Beijing’s military, humanitarian, and geopolitical interests.

While investment and resource extraction still play an important role in China’s Africa policy, these economic motivators are definitely not as important as they were even just a few years ago. Evidence of this can be found in the Sino-African trade and FDI data that reveal steady declines over the past several years.

“I would say the political-military relationship is the emerging area of interest that I think we are going to see more in the future,” said Joshua Eisenman, a China-Africa scholar at the University of Texas in Austin and a Senior Fellow for China studies at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C. Eisenman is among a growing number of scholars who are carefully watching the evolution of China-Africa relations in the new Xi Jinping era. He joins Eric and Cobus to talk about what to expect in the coming months as both Africans and Chinese officials prepare for the upcoming Sino-Africa mega-summit, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, that will take place in Beijing in September.