The political economy of China and Japan's relationship with Africa: A comparative perspective

S. Cornelissen, I. Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


China and Japan's policies towards Africa in the 1990s have converged, ostensibly around enhanced economic interaction with the continent based on the premise of integrating the continent into the global economy. At the same time, both countries view Africa as a useful buttress to their respective political and diplomatic goals in the international system. Connected to this and in order to garner support for their agendas, both countries promote themselves as possessing specific pro-South identities. This identity is premised around the notions of 'non-Westernness' and, in the case of China, in resistance to the North's hegemony. Yet paradoxically, by pursuing their respective policies in Africa, both states act to further deepen the penetration of the West into Africa. The inherent contradictions in Chinese and Japanese policies towards Africa raises questions as to the long-term viability of the current agendas being pursued by the two countries in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-633
Number of pages19
JournalPacific Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000


  • Africa (international relations)
  • China (foreign relations)
  • Developing world
  • Foreign aid
  • Japan (foreign relations)


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