Despite being seen by western nations as an adversarial, confrontational and undemocratic nation, the People’s Republic of China has been able to forge a large number of beneficial and lasting relationships with many nations, particular those on the African continent. To do so, China has sought not to distance itself from its international detractors by trying to remake their public image as being democratic but rather by using their knowledge and wealth accrued from rapid industrialization and a massive growing economy seeking new markets to create new and mutually advantageous relationships. To manage such a rapport, China has taken the traditional western practice of humanitarian aid and molded it to fit the Chinese government’s way of operating; Operating not under the guise of solving human rights issues or exchanges of goods for pro-democratic reforms but rather by offering credit, infrastructure, knowledge and time in exchange for oil, mining rights or new and emerging markets. China’s reinvention of the distribution of aid serves as a notice to all states, that traditional western aid might just not be as beneficial or in demand as it once was.
- Perceptions Spring-Summer 2019
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