Chinese Foreign Aid: The Tale of a Silent Enterprise

  • Yahia Mohamed Mahmoud
Part of the Rethinking International Development Series book series (RID)


Much of what had been written on China’s foreign assistance in Western academia and mass media before the 1990s focused on the politico-ideological dimensions of this assistance and on China’s aspirations to the leadership of the Third World (e.g., Hutchison, 1976; Larkin, 1971; Lin, 1989). In contrast, since the late 1990s, the focus has shifted towards China’s geo-strategic move into Africa in order to guarantee access to natural resources, especially oil, for its expanding economy, and how this might be a threat to Western interests in the continent (e.g., Jiang, 2004). No matter how accurate and relevant these views are, they represent an obstacle to a nuanced understanding of the width and the depth of this engagement. Besides simplifying the nature of this enterprise, these views belittle and ignore other interesting dimensions of this assistance, such as its variation and impacts at different levels. Of special significance is the diversity of the Chinese assistance package, which involves political solidarity, development assistance, trade relations, foreign direct investment (FDI) and, to some degree, technological transfer.


Foreign Direct Investment African Country Chinese Enterprise Infrastructural Project Hybrid Rice Production 
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© Yahia Mohamed Mahmoud 2010

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