China's quest for strategic resources in Africa (especially oil), but also for markets and political influence, created considerable fears in the American administration, as it could result in losing influence on this continent. This paper discusses Chinese engagement in Africa, focusing on the economic, political and social dimensions. Its main goal is presenting the U.S. and China's goals, as well as areas in which they both compete and collaborate, as it is important to stress that American and Chinese efforts in Africa are not necessarily on a colliding course, as in many aspects they extend into different functional and geographical areas. Hence, it's possible to see Africa as a 'normal' battlefield of globalized economy and perceive the benefits this competition can bring, especially to African countries, keeping in mind that the U.S.-IMF development model does not necessarily fit Africa, and the international system is more and more based on US-China bilateral relations. This paper presents two theoretical patterns, followed by statistical data, presenting the 'battlefield' of Africa, focusing on the main problems, main actors and, finally, resources (especially oil) and export/import partners. The goals and policies of the U.S. and China are presented in the next parts of the paper, concluded by the possible areas of cooperation between these two main external actors.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.