Africa's Place in the Diplomatic Competition between Beijing and Taipei

Ian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The diplomatic struggle between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan has been a consistent feature of the African landscape since the continent first embarked on the evolution to independence. For Taipei, Africa offers an area of operations for its attempts to break out of the diplomatic isolation forced upon it by Beijing. On its part, the PRC is determined not to allow Taipei international breathing space, for in its view such a raised profile would undermine its own legitimacy as the ruler of the Chinese people, and raise doubts regarding its unofficial claim to be the "leader" of the Third World. Furthermore, African nations have provided a large support constituency for China in its clashes with the West over human rights and democratization. Beijing can ill-afford to dispense with such support at international forums, yet Taipei has refused to submit to Chinese pressure and continues to have a presence in Africa. With this in mind, the diplomatic competition between the PRC and the ROC on the African continent is likely to continue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-143
Number of pages18
JournalIssues and Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • Africa
  • China-Taiwan Relations
  • Dollar diplomacy
  • PRC foreign policy
  • ROC foreign policy


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