WITH China’s flagship event showcasing how its influence has grown in Africa set for the continent this year, the focus will inevitably be on the amount of new aid and loans Beijing dangles at the continent.
The last summit of the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) saw president Hu Jintao put on the table $20 billion in loans to African countries, doubling its previous offer.
As bilateral trade volumes have grown, Beijing will be expected to offer billions more at this year’s forum in South Africa, despite its domestic economy having cooled in recent months.
However, Africa can also expect to witness notably more incidences of state-sponsored domestic violence, both against civilians and competitors such as rebel groups, as Chinese aid increases, a new study shows.
Authors Roudabeh Kishi and Clionadh Raleigh, of the University of Sussex’s Department of Geography, say this effect is largely because aid from China is fungible, with its use determined by recipient countries.
Their working paper, titled Chinese Aid and Africa’s Pariah States, finds that political violence by the state increases with receipt of Chinese aid.
The same is not observed with aid from ‘traditional’ or Western donors, which comes tagged with conditions.