Strategic self depreciation : the development of Communist China’s foreign policy towards Africa, 1954-1964
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The growing importance of China in Africa today makes the examination of the history of Communist China’s foreign policy towards Africa a necessary undertaking. In recent years, there has been an escalation of attention paid to China’s political and economic role in developing nations, with particular attention granted to China’s policies in African countries. However, China did not just begin to pay attention to Africa at the close of the twentieth century, and it is the purpose of this paper to look at the beginnings of these policies. Chronologically, this paper focuses on the birth and early evolution of China’s foreign policy towards Africa, namely from the years 1954 to 1964. These dates represent not only the beginning, but also a significant change in China’s foreign policies towards Africa. While many of the policies adopted and adapted by Communist China during this period were to encompass the whole of the emerging third world, this paper focuses on Africa, and in particular Zambia for more specific examples. China played an important role in the newly independent nations of Africa in the early 1960s, and it continues to play a significant, and often controversial, role there today.