Chinese Agriculture Development Cooperation in Africa: Narratives and Politics
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Chinese agriculture engagements are redefining the 'aid‘ landscape, moving from a paradigm of development assistance to one of development cooperation mixed with investment. China‘s leadership asserts that this approach infuses new life‘ into South-South cooperation and promot[es] the establishment of a fair and rational new international political and economic order‘ (GOV 2010: 2). Based on a review of documents and interviews with 30 informants, this article explores Chinese discourses, justifications and critiques underpinning China-Africa cooperation in agriculture. While mainstream Chinese discourse on China-Africa agriculture cooperation focuses on the mutual advantages and the opportunities these create, some are developing alternative frameworks for China- Africa agriculture cooperation. China‘s approach in African agriculture reflects both current debates and historical experiences of modernising and liberalising China‘s own rural economy. The article concludes that a more nuanced understanding of Chinese motivations can support constructive and active engagement by African partners with China.