China’s Africa trade and investment policies: review of a “Noodle Bowl”

  • Lauren A Johnston Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne
  • Yuan Cheng School of Economics, Peking University


Increasing China-Africa economic integration has raised concurrent expectations for 20th Century goals of mutual development and fears of renewed African eco-nomic subjugation. Economic policies will be a key determinant of the degree to which either or both evolve. Given that importance, surprisingly few studies ex-plore the composition, distribution and multipliers of African or Chinese economic policies on the evolution and outcomes of China-Africa ties, nationally or intra-regionally. A step toward addressing that shortfall and also serving to highlight the pressing need for more research, this paper reviews China’s current set of sover-eign-level Africa-related trade and investment policies, their economic context and the associated impacts where known. Related policies are found to be a complicat-ed cross-continental matrix, in turn inspiring us to re-apply the ”noodle bowl” phrase that has elsewhere been used to describe bi-lateral policy overlap between