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Love at First Sight! or Confused Priorities: The Evolving China-Africa Relations

By Fantu Cheru

Introduction

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of China-Africa diplomatic relations and an important milestone in China-Africa relations. For the first time, in January 2006, China also issued Africa Policy Paper, elaborating its policy toward Africa. In the Paper, the Chinese government put forward its proposals for cooperation with Africa in various fields in the coming years and declared is commitment to anew, strategic partnership with Africa in the long term, on the basis of five principles of peaceful coexistence (e.g. respect of African countries independent choice of development path, mutual benefit and reciprocity; interaction based on equality; and consultation and cooperation in global affairs). Important events such as the first summit of the China-Africa Forum (which took place in November 2006), aim to further boost Chinas cooperation with Africa.

WORK IN PROGRESS


Bio: Fantu Cheru teaches African and Development Studies courses in the International Development Program. Originally from Ethiopia, Cheru is a leading expert in African development, with field experience in more than 20 African countries. He currently serves as a member of the UN Secretrary-General's Panel on International Support for the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) as well as Convenor of the Global Economic Agenda Track of the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy. He has served both as an advisor and consultant to a number of governments and donor institutions, including the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNDP, UN-Habitat, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Norwegian Development Agency (NORAD), among others. Cheru also served as the UN's Special Rapporteur on Foreign Debt and Structural Adjustment for the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva from 1998-2001.

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