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The rise of the Eastern Dragon in Africa: The beginning of a new Pax Sinica?
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


During the recent years, the rapid progression of China has become increasingly manifest

on the international arena. Accordingly, it has been questioned whether the world is

currently witnessing the re-emergence of a new ‘Pax Sinica’, implying a period of Asian

dominance as evident during the 10th century. In general, China has tended to be

portrayed as a threat to the US hegemony and the current ‘Pax Americana’. In light of

China’s quest for new markets and energy supplies so as to sustain its growing economy, its

search for global alliances and enhanced presence in the resource-rich continent of Africa

is of significant importance.

As such, this study has argued that the Sino-African relationship could be seen as an illustration of China’s endeavor towards global recognition. In this context, the conceptual framework of geopolitics has been used to enhance the understanding of the Sino-African relationship, the potential of a ‘Pax Sinica’ and the various perspectives surrounding it. Potential constraints and possibilities from both an African, Western and Chinese perspective have accordingly been examined.

In particular, the concept of critical geopolitics has been employed in order to better

identify different notions of power, common discourses and their possible motivations.

The concept of hermeneutics has likewise been applied so as to move beyond the general

impression of China and its interaction with Africa. In doing so, some of the core

components of the multifaceted Sino-African relationship have been investigated, i.e. aid,

trade, and oil. Likewise, the implications of Chinese migration to Africa and the

country’s role in ‘less significant’ countries such as Ethiopia have been considered.

The main conclusions of this study are that there are strong indicators of China becoming

a leading hegemony, and particularly in the ‘Global South’. From a geopolitical

standpoint, two distinct perspectives in regards to China and their interaction with Africa

have been highlighted. The first one is the typical Western standpoint, which has

commonly adopted a more conventional geopolitical perspective in their portrayal of ‘the

greedy Chinese’ as a global threat. This has been put in contrast to the more critical

geopolitical perspective of China, who has pointed to its asserted ‘peaceful rise’,

unconventional strategies and use of ‘soft power’. In acknowledging China as the leading

hegemony of the ‘Global South’, it is likely to believe that the world will sooner or

later enter an era of ‘Pax Sinica’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
Africa, China, Pax Sinica, Hegemony, Geopolitics
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46871OAI: diva2:864134
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Work, Master Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2016-02-22Bibliographically approved

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