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Title: Uncovering agency : Angola's management of relations with China
Author: Corkin, Lucy
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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The prevailing view of China's engagement in Africa is that African countries are being exploited for their mineral wealth by a country whose political and economic power is much greater than their own. These largely government-to-government contracts are criticized by the international community, ostensibly due to their lack of transparency and accountability but also because China is perceived to be gaining preferential access to natural resources. One of the more prominent cases cited is that of state-owned China Export-Import Bank making available loans for Angolan post-war infrastructure rehabilitation. This work sets out to analyse the mechanism of these contracts and the infrastructure construction that they are intended to facilitate. It is consequently an interrogation of the nature of the relationship between the Chinese and Angolan governments. I will argue that previous analyses of the relationship between China and Angola, while noting the role of African agency in such a mechanism, have not fully explored its implications and explanatory powers for China-Angola relations. The Angolan government plays an important role in the outcome of this bilateral co-operation. The strength of the rhetoric surrounding China's relations with Africa, from Chinese, Western and African sources is of central importance to this study. This, ultimately, I argue here, shapes the context in which the relationship is viewed. China's approach to development in Africa is interpreted as a threat by the West and is broached as such. The Angolan elite are in a position to exploit such tensions between China and the West to leverage their own political agenda. I argue that while the political relationship has not been without its problems, both the Angolan and the Chinese government view the relationship as necessary, as much for the economic gains it brings as for its importance in trying to define and establish both states' positions in the eyes of the international community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral