The Sustainable Development of Sino-African Cooperation: Actors, Gaps and Reforms

  • ZHU Ming


Relations between Africa and China have experienced an extremely fast-growing period since the beginning of this century, and such speed is quite rare in history. As for the unique close political ties, it has been a 22 year-long tradition, until 2012, that the Chinese Foreign Minister always makes his first official visit to Africa at the beginning of each year.1 What’s more, booming economic ties are even labeled by some observers as “Africa’s Silk Road”.2 Already Africa's single biggest trading partner, China is set to become the continent's largest export destination in 2012, according to South African based Standard Bank.3 At the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, 4 parties on both sides proclaimed “the establishment of a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges” at the The FOCAC (the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) is held every three years since it was founded in 2000. Outside praise and criticism of FOCAC are intertwined. Upon each summit, Beijing issues its new Africa policy principles and a 3-year Action Plan in detail. Being a multilateral policy platform, FOCAC, together with Beijing’s existing bilateral relations with Africa nations, enriches Beijing’s Africa policy instruments and plays a key coordinating role in China’s grand Africa policy. In the near future(July), the 5th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC is to be held in Beijing. An on-time evaluation of FOCAC’s past, as well as an outline of its future blueprint is essential