Shifting security challenges in the China–Africa relationship

Shifting security challenges in the China–Africa relationship

China’s involvement in African security has deepened in recent years. This policy insights paper discusses three aspects of the China–Africa security relationship to highlight some of the evolving challenges and the ways in which China responds to these.

The paper points that certain Chinese investments are located in volatile regions, making Chinese workers vulnerable to attack. Thus, China has adopted a variety of methods at the community, state and multilateral level to protect its citizens on the continent. Equally important, an unanticipated security threat arose with the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and as part of China’s response to that outbreak, it sent over $140 million worth of aid, primarily to the three most affected countries.

However, the authors note it is crucial that China continues to work with African states and international organisations in fighting environmental destruction, while devoting greater resources to tackling the problem domestically. Furthermore, the paper presents the following recommendations:

  • Chinese embassies should maintain regular contact with their citizens and institute mechanisms to deal with crime within communities
  • improving law enforcement and cross-border co-operation in the illegal wildlife trade and logging can be undertaken through FOCAC (Forum on China–Africa Cooperation)
  • China should continue to engage in international medical emergencies, preferably through international organisations such as the UN and WHO




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