China-Africa relations in 2012 – Harmony is quite a task in the auspicious Year of the Dragon

  • Matthew McDonald


As many parts of the world put the recent festive season to rest and clamber into 2012, the world’s most populous country and the second largest economy is busily preparing to welcome the Year of the Dragon. For China, last year, the Year of the Rabbit, was one of careful consolidation and reinforcement of its international stature, from attention to the trembling Eurozone economies, to intermittent face offs with the Federal Reserve in Washington over the value of the Yuan Renminbi, to manoeuvres within dynamic new global alliances such as the BRICS. Sino-African relations similarly reflected this careful atmosphere of consolidation - some feat given the deep political and economic penetration of China in many African states on one hand, and the bitter tumult experienced in a handful of African countries that witnessed violent protests against governments, and even overthrow of those regimes.