Russia and China in Africa: competitors or partners?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Director of Institute
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Moscow, 30/1, Spiridonovka Str., Moscow 123001, Russian Federation
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 9

How realistic and feasible is Sino-Russian in Africa? This issue was the subject of the first ever video conference of the leading researchers of Institute for African Studies with Minister Plenipotentiary Su Fanqiu and other employees of the Chinese Embassy in Moscow. According to the Minister, China is ready to cooperate with Russia on the African continent, primarily in the political sphere, since the political influence of the Russian Federation in Africa is very impressive. Beijing is ready to cooperate with Moscow in the fight against terrorism on the African continent, as well as in military-technical and information spheres. The Minister proposed to intensify contacts between Chinese scientists and the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences, including the young researchers.

At the same time, the Chinese speakers said nothing about Sino-Russian cooperation in Africa in the economic sphere. This suggests that China does not perceive Russia neither as a possible economic ally or as a competitor in Africa. It will not be easy for Russia to regain its former influence in Africa, but in order not to completely lose the economic and political opportunities offered by emerging Africa, it is necessary to concentrate upon and to actively develop the African vector of our foreign policy.

Director of the Institute for Africa Studies Рrof. I.Abramova informed Mr. Su Fanqiu about the initial stage of preparation for the  new  Summit,  which  is  expected  to  bring  about  palpable  practical  achievements  in  each  direction  of  the  Russian-African interaction. I.Abramova postulates that the main tasks for the next 2-3 years will be to boost the turnover of the Russia-Africa trade, to increase the number of economic operators on the African direction, including small and medium businesses, the development of cooperation  in  the  humanitarian  sphere,  science,  education  and  health,  the  interaction  in  the  information  space  and,  most importantly, developing financial instruments to support Russian business in Africa.

KeywordsRussia, China, Africa, Cooperation, COVID-19, Summit China-Africa, Summit Russia-Africa
AcknowledgmentThe article has been done with the financial support of the Grant № 2020-1902-01-372 "The Postcrisis World Order: Challenges and Technologies, Competition and Cooperation".
Publication date28.09.2020
Number of characters22814
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