Sino-Western Rivalry as a New Trajectory of Neo-Imperialism: A Critical Challenge for African Diplomacy and Development
Africa’s underdevelopment and subservient status in the international political economy have often been analyzed as deliberate creations of Western influence, from the slave trade to neo-imperialism. But China’s recent phenomenal forage into Africa, which seems to provide a veritable alternative for Africa’s international engagements, is provoking rivalry from the West, whose traditional influence appears to be challenged. This paper examines the rise of China in Africa and argues that the Sino Western rivalry, which the rise has provoked, implies a new scramble and trajectory of neoimperialism capable of worsening the already critical condition of Africa’s development. It concludes that, with China in the fray, Africa will only sink deeper into the vortex of a skewed international economic system, unless its leaders and people urgently design and use home-grown initiatives of thorough systemic reforms to develop their economies to a competitive level, which will, in turn, promote African states as respectable members of the international system.